Final Chat!

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Command Centre

By Teresa

On Nov. 4, 2013 Youth Radio’s New Options Project Youth Advisors (NOPYA’s) held the third and final live chat about youth unemployment. They wanted to hear from people who are affected by the youth unemployment, such as young people and educators. The point of this live chat was for them to learn how we can all work together to close the skills gap, such as hard skills and soft skills.

Some questions they asked were, “what are the forces in support of closing the skills gap? What do young people need? And what are skills we feel that are the hardest to acquire?” The host of the live chat focused on demystifying the skills gap, education’s role in closing the gap, and when soft skills are used as a means of discrimination against young people. Some felt that students aren’t being prepared in school with the necessary skills to actually enter the workforce and that employers need to spend time training youth in order to gain the necessary skills.

Many felt that race plays a huge role in youth unemployment. One example talked about in the live chat was if a white girl with a purple Mohawk and tattooed sleeves applied to work at Forever 21, the chances of her getting it is better than the chances of a black girl with her grandmas name tattooed on her wrist and red hair. Marin from the Oakland Tribune added, “Where you come from is an asset…”

In conclusion, one of the organizers of the live chat, Ayesha feels appreciative of the quality of this conversation. She said, “young people care about the issue of unemployment and the live chat proves just that.” Overall the main points of this live chat were to hear people’s opinion on this problem and try to create a solution for youth unemployment.

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