Many requirements and resources are essential to finding opportunities amidst crises. Political instability, poor education system, and shrinking economies have burdened youth and killed their creativity. Amidst these crises, policymakers are the one who has the ability to help them weather this, for them to not just wade through but to succeed and overcome obstacles in life.
Get set: evaluation and reality check
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has found that 48 percent of youth are more likely to be unemployed. And 32 percent are the youth who are at the highest risk to be unemployed because they are underqualified due to poor education quality, especially workers in the manufacturing and agricultural sector. COVID-19 is also the driving impetus; more youth have to face unfair unemployment from temporary contracts. Those who work as freelancers will receive no welfare such as social welfare, sick leave, as well as pension despite their hard work which is sometimes as tough as permanent employees. In this time of uncertainty, young people have many concerns caused by economic and societal factors. In fact, they have shouldered uncertainty since the Hamburger crisis in 2008 followed by the pandemic that has turned their lives upside down.
Opportunity for policymakers: Although we cannot alter the past, we can change the future!
Increasing resilience among youth is crucial in helping them to cope with disappointment and a fast-paced world. Remember that it is normal for many new graduates to land a job that is unrelated to their degree. What is important is to provide them with opportunities to constantly improve their soft and hard skills including gaining up-to-date knowledge. If the government can provide training in this regard and include employers and employees during the design process, youth will gain more confidence and self-esteem.
Leap: no outdoor experiences, no real-life experiences
“Real-life experience” has been frequently mentioned since the late 20th century because of the realization that school experience is not adequate to ensure personal growth. However, due to the pandemic in the last few years, youth have no choice but to be in constant quarantine. This means that they cannot go on a sightseeing trip, volunteer anywhere, or even go on a date. In many countries, data suggest that the majority of 15-year-old children have not planned to further study in a degree highly demanded by the market. More will graduate from the low-demand majors and fewer graduates will have new skill sets. These are the consequence of lengthy school pauses in response to the spread of COVID-19 as well as the fact that online learning is inaccessible to many.
Opportunity for policymakers: Youth is finding a safe landing after leaping to reach for their success. It is normal for youth to feel lost because no one has ascertained their decision. To support them on this matter, the education system is the first responsible institution, especially schools. Having to study online, youth have faced unpredictable changes and thus have a hard time adjusting to unexpected situations. Modern policy on education needs to be agile and adaptive to changes. The government should be a mediator who starts a survey and openly listens to the youth’s concerns. Moreover, it should cooperate with private sectors and non-governmental organisations. If many sectors are efficiently involved in policymaking, youth will feel that they are supported in this leap to success and able to imagine more of their future.
Landing: youth are the future and deserve security in life
Do youth become less tolerant or do they have different life perspectives from the previous generations? People are not entirely defined by age and we should not let our bias get the better of us. Remember that youth are all future workers and also our hope. Our important role is to give them a back to lean on, not directing them to do as we wish. It is common for the new generations to speak up their mind and frequently change their job. They need good urban planning so they do not have to wake up early but are still stuck in the traffic. They need more income as the cost of living becomes higher each day. They need a work environment whose key performance indicator is the quality of work, not just their presence at work. Thus, there is no need to make youth an object of scorn. In a world where change is swifter than ever, supporting them through this is the best answer.
Opportunity for policymakers: Are the policy up-to-date with the current situations? At present, American Dream has been squashed to dust. Many youths have no longer dreamt of securing a well-earned job, buying nice houses and cars, and creating a lovely family. Instead, many of them choose to be single and some even plan to have no kids after marriage. The decrease in the world population is inevitably related to their work and life-related problems such as cumulative stress, unstable income, and a high inflation rate. For example, one-fourth of youth do not have a permanent job. In response, the policymakers need to find the answer to which how they can receive fair income despite being freelancers. Another problem to tinker with includes how to increase more time and space for leisure so that they can go out, relax, fall in love, and fulfill their future with their own values. Eventually, emotional well-being and social security will eventually strengthen the societal structure.