Youth Skills and Innovation Initiative

Photo Courtesy of DFID

Due to rapid changes in technology, automation, and the workplace itself – as well as the disconnect between the skills young people are prepared with and those needed to succeed in the 21st century – half of all young people, more than 800 million total, will not have the basic skills necessary for the workforce by 2030. Without an adequate pool of employees equipped with diverse skills needed to adapt to changing realities, many in the business community will find it difficult to compete in a connected and collaborative economy.
The Global Business Coalition for Education launched the Youth Skills and Innovation Initiative to tackle these challenges by harnessing the innovation and creativity of youth and industry leaders to create, propagate, accelerate, and disseminate successful models at scale to prepare the next generation of creators, makers, innovators, and designers to thrive.

Goals of Initiative

The Initiative has convened a Youth Skills and Innovation Commission – consisting of a diverse set of industry leaders, academics, policymakers, practitioners, and youth – to bring together rigorous evidence and experience to:


Identify new models to rapidly enhance the skills and innovation readiness of young people.


Personal attributes, social skills, and communication abilities that support interpersonal relationships and interactions with others

The Initiative has scanned the current state of research, trends, trajectories, and business models and began identifying opportunities for business and youth. This research is documented in a landmark Youth Skills and Innovation Report, led by Deloitte and released in September 2018. The report outlines key actions that can create scalable, sustainable, and systemic change for today’s young people, and is intended to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities that exist in global education today and inspire further commitments to action.

Youth Skills and Innovation Report


The Initiative includes the following priorities:

Youth Skills Action Hub

GBC-Education will galvanize pledges, commitments, and action from the private sector to implement the recommendations put forth in its 2018 report and serve as a hub for action, partnerships, knowledge-sharing, measurable outcomes, and metrics of impact.
The Action Hub is fueled by:

  • An active business coalition of 150 companies and entrepreneurial start-ups
  • A Youth Council of young leaders advising on skills development and providing access to a network of 1,000 Global Youth Ambassadors in nearly 100 countries
  • A Youth Skills and Innovation Network, building on relationships with 50 youth-serving organizations across the globe

The Action Hub will further harness the power of young people – especially girls and young women – to shape future policy decisions alongside industry leaders at the local, national, and corporate level through.

Global Summits on Youth Skills

GBC-Education will hold regional summits for business, government, academia, and practitioners focused on engaging the business community in support of public education and skills development for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Engagement with the Americas

GBC-Education will focus on skills development in marginalized locations across the United States, working with businesses on pilot projects with the potential to go to scale. Emphasis will be placed on creating dialogues within and between rural and urban parts of the country.

To get involved or to learn more, please contact Jamira Burley at To read more, download our booklet on youth skills and innovation:

Youth Skills and Innovation

Youth Skills and Innovation Report

Read the new Youth Skills and Innovation Report on preparing tomorrow’s workforce for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Learn More

Contact us at to learn more and get involved.