Technological Disruptions, Youth Unemployment and Vocational Education Challenges in South Asia: A Short Report
The main objectives of the study have been to analyze the situation of youth unemployment and employment in South Asia, challenges of skills gaps and job opportunities for youth in the context of technological changes, and draw policy implications to address youth employment challenges by reorienting the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to leverage youth employment potential in changing demographic-economic-technological dynamics of South Asia. The study has drawn the secondary data from the two major databases of the International Labour Organization and the World Bank. Data triangulation method has been used to the relevant data and the short-listed data has been analyzed through simple descriptive statistics and deductive content analysis to evaluate the data more comprehensively and scientifically. Theoretical triangulation method has been used to support the conclusions drawn from the findings and to lower the threat of wrong interpretation of research outcomes by a deeper and broader analysis. In the South Asian region, youth unemployment rate (YUR) has been estimated at 18.8% in 2020, which is projected to increase to 18.9% in 2021. High youth unemployment levels in South Asia have been due to a lack of appropriate skills through the TVET than the lack of jobs. In South Asian countries, skills for work have been largely provided at secondary and tertiary levels through TVET programs besides non-formal training programs in public and private institutions, including employers, but still, the skills mismatches are huge in the context of new technological changes and innovations. Therefore, robust policy actions are needed to address the skills gaps and meet the youth employment challenges by reorienting TVET programs to ensure that the skills taught in TVET are demanded and valued in the labor market.