Jamie McAuliffe On Why We Need To Tackle Youth Unemployment

01/23/2014 01:44 pm ET | Updated Jan 24, 2014
  • Harry Bradford The Huffington Post

Widespread youth unemployment may be one of the greatest problems facing the global economy. But according to Jamie McAuliffe, the CEO of Education For Employment, there is hope things can get better with the help of technology and social innovation.

During a HuffPost Live panel discussion in Davos Thursday, the head of the non-profit, which is dedicated to creating jobs for youths in the Middle East and North Africa, said that he's happy to see the crisis receive more attention at the World Economic Forum this year.

"What's encouraging about this Davos is that the conversation has really moved on the issue of global youth employment, to just talking about challenge, raising awareness of the issue, to actually concretely talking about the potential solutions," McAuliffe said. "I think we're moving in the right direction."

According to McAuliffe, $72 billion in new revenue worldwide would be created by reducing global youth unemployment by just 1 percent. Education For Employment wants to make that happen, he said.

"We're trying to take young people who have an education, [maybe] they have a degree but no experience, and get them skilled up in practical work skills... so that they can get a start on their career, get the skills and experience they need and build their careers and families," he said.

According to McAuliffe, the result of adequately tackling the problem would go far beyond simple dollars and cents.

"I'm fond of the phrase, 'everyone a change-maker,'" McAuliffe said. "That's what I think we can unleash. If we give young people the right experiences to set that spark off it can result in amazing things."