‘Worldwide, young people are three times more likely than their parents to be out of work. In Greece, Spain, and South Africa, more than half of young people are unemployed, and jobless levels of 25
percent or more are common in Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. In the Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, more than one in eight of all 15- to 24-year-olds are not in employment, education, or training (NEET).1 Around the world, the International Labour Organization estimates that 75 million young people are unemployed. Including estimates of underemployedyouthwouldpotentiallytriplethisnumber.2 Thisrepresentsnotjustagiganticpoolof untapped talent; it is also a source of social unrest and individual despair.

Paradoxically, there is a critical skills shortage at the same time. Across the nine countries that are the focus of this report (Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), only 43 percent of employers surveyed agreed that they could find enough skilled entry-level workers. This problem is not likely to be a temporary blip; in fact, it will probably get much worse. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by 2020 there will be a global shortfall of 85 million high- and middle-skilled workers.’ (McKinsey 2010).