International Studies & Programs

World Youth Skills Day: Inspiring the Workers and Leaders of Tomorrow

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Published: Thursday, 13 Jul 2023 Author: Global Youth Advancement Network

Celebrated every July 15 since 2014, World Youth Skills Day is a day designated by the United Nations specifically to bring awareness to the importance of skills for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship that are necessary for young people in today’s world. This day serves as an opportunity to commit to equipping young people with the skills and opportunities they need to fulfill their unique role as arbiters of change as they work toward sustainable and innovative solutions for global issues.

The 2023 theme for World Youth Skills Day is “Skilling teachers, trainers, and youth for a transformative future,” emphasizing the role of all educators including youth mentors, as they not only prepare youth to transition to the labor market, but also serve as an essential part of helping young people discover their passions and find a pathway to working toward their ambitions. 

GYAN’s vision for the future is a new generation of ethical leaders, with the education, skills, and resources they need to effect transformative change at the individual, institutional and systemic levels. Much aligned with the 2023’s theme for World Youth Skills Day, we are proud to offer initiatives such as the Global Voices Spotlight Series, which helps youth further advance their fields of study and career paths while honoring professionals who are meaningfully engaged in youth-related outreach and research activities.

GYAN’S Global Voices Spotlight Series

The Global Voices Spotlight Series is an ongoing collection of video interviews featuring intergenerational conversations between young people and professionals devoted to youth programming across and beyond MSU (academic and support staff, content and industry experts, entrepreneurs, etc.). While each Spotlight Interview will be tailored based on the specific interests and expertise of both young interviewer and interviewee, all conversations include a discussion on how to increase youth access to life skills, vocational training, employment, and/or entrepreneurship. 

The whole series of interviewers can be accessed via GYAN’s Spotlight Series webpage or GYAN’s Global Voices Spotlight Series on YouTube; so far, we have had the pleasure of facilitating five unique and inspiring conversations featuring the MSU students and distinguished professionals listed below:

  • March 2022: Jayson James (at the time GYAN Intern & MSU Senior) interviewed Dr. Marcy Hessling-O'Neil, MSU Assistant Professor, Advisor for the Peace and Justice Studies program, and a mentor for GYAN's Summit in 2019 with years of experience conducting ethnographic research among young people and their families in Benin, West Africa.
  • June 2022: Hibah Siddiqui (at the time GYAN Intern & MSU Senior) interviewed MSU W. J. Beal Distinguished Professor Peter Glendinning, a professional member of the American Society of Media Photographers and a two times Fulbright Scholar in South Africa.
  • September 2022: Hibah Siddiqui (at the time GYAN Intern & MSU Senior) interviewed Chibuzor Charles Agomuoh, an expert in youth-soft skills development at the Community Engagement Exchange Program of IREX and Executive Director at the SunRise Youth Intervention Organisation in Nigeria.
  • October 2022: Jorge Pena Lozano (at the time MSU Senior) interviewed Jean-Paul Sewavi, Program Coordinator for MSU’s Office for Education Abroad.
  • February 2023: Marialina Antolini (MSU Ph.D. Student) interviewed Dr. Kundyz Mukatayeva, Institutional Coordinator for Academic Mobility at Toraighyrov University (Kazakhstan) who was at the time a Bolashak Visiting Scholar at MSU.
“Skilling teachers, trainers, and youth for a transformative future”

Recently, GYAN had the pleasure of discussing the 2023 theme for World Youth Skills Day with both Prof. Glendinning and Mr. Agomuoh, who shared insights and suggestions for young people. In honor of such important observance, GYAN also put together a curated compilation of additional resources for youth, educators, leaders, and institutions - we hope that these (in addition to the Global Voices Spotlight Series at large) will help empowering youth to become the leaders and workers of tomorrow!

“Including teachers and trainers in this year's theme is a refreshing recognition that the demands of students, their families, and communities for excellence in education is such that the emphasis on "skilling" for youth cannot be enhanced in a vacuum without concomitant emphasis on supporting those who will "skill" them. In today's world of education, the teacher who is not keeping current with swiftly changing technologies, historical discoveries, scientific/cultural breakthroughs, will not last long in their profession.”
– Peter Glendinning

A person wearing a white shirt and green hat poses for the camera

“In an age where many have been displaced from the workplace by the unique positioning of Artificial Intelligence (AI), organizational skills will never go out of fashion. In fact, for AI to find increasing acceptance in our human experience, we need young professionals with not just technical skills, but soft skills like critical thinking, adaptability, empathy, communication, inclusiveness. As humanity rides on the path of technological advancement, AI will be the horse and young professionals with soft skills would be the rider. The roles won't be reversed." 
– Chibuzor Charles Agomuoh


Additional Resources



  • OFASD Teaching and Learning Events: The Office of Faculty and Academic Staff Development at MSU hosts events related to developing the professional capacities of faculty and academic staff to support student success.
  • #iteachmsu Commons: The #iteachmsu Commons for MSU Educators is an online space where members of the educator community at MSU (Faculty, Teaching Assistants, Undergraduate Learning Assistants, instructional designers, academic advisors, librarians, coaches, etc.) can access resources for educator learning and community building including articles, curated playlists, and a campus-wide teaching and learning events calendar.
  • WEF “Putting Skills First: A Framework to Action”: The World Economic Forum published a report detailing the ways a skills-first approach has the potential to democratize access to economic opportunities and pathways to jobs.
  • United Nations Transforming Education Summit Webcast: The United Nations has made available a webcast replay along with resources from last year’s Transforming Education Summit, an event convened to mobilize action toward innovative education solutions in the wake of the pandemic and to transform education systems worldwide.


  • Entrepreneurial learning for TVET institutions: Online Guide (with worksheets): UNESCO–UNEVOC has developed an interactive guide on how to introduce and mainstream entrepreneurial learning.
  • Youth Development Programming: USAID has highlighted useful resources to create programming in support of youth empowerment.
  • World Skills Clock: The World Skills Clock is an interactive web tool launched by the Education Commission, Generation Unlimited, UNICEF, and the World Data Lab to illustrate learning and skills trajectories globally and at the country level in real time.


  • "Rising at Sunrise: Featuring compelling stories and life-lessons of 55 inspiring individuals of African-descent living in 26 countries" by Chibuzor Charles Agomuoh. Quote: “Your sunrise is the moment of your youth. It’s a period of awakening to the abundance of sunlight present to you as opportunities.”
  • "To the Dreamers: Notes to Aspiring Global Leaders" by Chibuzor Charles Agomuoh. Quote: “I have found that if you keep serving humanity with the investment of your personality, the payback is generous.”
  • "As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen (Prof. Peter Glendinning’s suggestion). Quote: "Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armoury of thought he forges weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace."  
Interested in Joining the Global Voices Spotlight Series?

GYAN is looking forward to collaborating with MSU students/alumni, MSU faculty/staff, young innovators, industry experts, and more! If you would like to nominate yourself or a colleague to be interviewed in our Global Voices Spotlight Series, please do so using the Global Voices Nomination Form. In case you are between 18 and 35 years old and wish to become a youth interviewer, please fill out the GYAN Youth Volunteer Form. Or if you know of a motivated young person who would be a great fit, please reach out to us via email (gyaninfo(at)