BWI opens International Youth Day celeb, calls for massive skills training investment

The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), led by its young trade unionists, kicked off this year’s celebration of International Youth Day by mobilising its affiliates worldwide behind the call for massive investment in skills training in order for workers, especially young people, to effectively respond to new labour demands and challenges posed by the pandemic. 

Carrying the theme “Get Ready for the Future: Invest in Skills Training,” BWI’s young members demanded policies that will promote, strengthen and modernise vocational education and training and apprenticeship programmes to create more and better job opportunities for young people as they transition from school to work, and help them withstand the COVID-19 crisis. 

BWI also said that massive skills training investment is needed to retool “workers from all ages” to ensure their employability amidst a world or work rapidly being changed by the global health crisis and push for a greener and more digital labour market. 

To popularise their calls, from 9 to 12 August, BWI’s young trade unionists from different regions will begin posting campaign videos narrating the stories and experiences of students and young workers and explaining why investing strategically in skills training is a crucial element in recovering from COVID-19 and getting ready for the future. 

On 12 August, International Youth Day, BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson will interview BWI International Youth Committee Chair Lebohang Vincent on the situation of young workers in South Africa and why trade unionism is a powerful vehicle for change for young workers. 

For more information on BWI’s 2021 IYD campaign, go here.