As the United Nations marks World Youth Skills Day on Monday, we are reminded of just how vital it is that young people are equipped to help build the sustainable, inclusive and stable societies we want them to inherit. The 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, who make up 16 percent of the global population, are the future of our world. However, young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults, the work available to them is frequently less secure, and the transition from education to employment can often be a tough and long process.

While Japan’s unemployment rate is 2.4 percent, youth unemployment is higher at 3.8 percent. Ensuring that we keep youth unemployment down is vital in Japan given the disproportionately large social burden that rests on the next generation’s shoulders. While just around a tenth (9.64 percent) of Japan’s population is aged 15 to 24, the population is aging faster than that of any other nation. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry estimates that over-65s will account for 40 percent of the population by 2060, which will put a huge responsibility of care on today’s young people, while placing an ever greater reliance on tax revenues generated by young people at work.

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