Coca-Cola presents Youth Dialogue is a monthly series youth-centric discussion session organized by Glocal Pvt. Ltd. It is a platform that invites different personalities from different sectors to share their initiation, experiences, challenges and motivation. 

Youth dialogue delivered exciting sessions on various themes like Sports, Environment, Entertainment, Business, Culture, Tourism to develop the skills in the changing labor market. The speakers of the program are Youth Influencers, Skillful persons, Entrepreneurs, Celebrities and Politicians. It is a 1- hour long discussion series that contains a live audience and later it will be broadcast through YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

The second episode of Youth Dialogue was conducted at Universal College on the topic-“Future of Skills and Employment in Nepal.” The episode brought the perspective of skills in a bigger frame, also discussing the ways of Skill development in Youth. The panelist of the discussion were;

  • Mr.Rajiv Sharma, Managing Director at Jobs Dynamics
  • Ms.Binita Karki, Youth Program Officer at UNDP Nepal
  • Mr.Bimal Bodhi, Bodhi Arts

The discussion was moderated by Ms. SaruPyakurel, Communication Officer at Glocal Pvt. Ltd.

Here is the gist of the discussion;

The moderated asked the panelist to highlight one of their skill that they admire. In the question, Ms. Karki confidently said her communication and interaction skills are something that helped a lot to grow and learn in her coarse of life. She said her skills depicts the way she talks, the way she interacts and that eventually skills makes her a better person every day.For her, skill means the ability that supports her to achieve her dreams.

Mr.Sharma said one skill he admires is people skills as he represents HR domain, and it includes understanding oneself and also about understanding the people’s perspective.

Likewise, with his artistic perspective, Mr.Bodhi says his art skills is what he admires, as he can execute his feelings on art. He said that a person needs to learn skills in the subject of their interest.

The moderated then connected a line from the book named- Wealth of Words from Amit Kalantri, which stated Schooling doesn’t assure employment but skill does. All the three panelists agreed to this line and gave their perspective. Ms.Binita said learnings shouldn’t be based just on mark sheets and studies. In the competitive world, experience is what matters, and the way a person presents makes them different among the crowd. She said it’s true that schooling is necessary, but it doesn’t mean that you can create a secured future with just schooling and degree on hand. A person needs to work, needs to have practical exposures rather than just theoretical learning. To be skillful, one must have problem-solving capacity and to be competitive in this market, you need to have skills and qualifications.

Mr. Sharma added that Skills comes with Experience, and he said studies have shown that 70% of the skills are developed through experience, 20% through interaction and 10% by formal education. Therefore, now all youth must be concerned about how to get experience in the course of becoming skillful. And for this youth needs to hunt for the starting point.

Mr.Bodhi also believed that schooling only gives you the basic knowledge, but the important thing is your passion, your interest and what you want to achieve in life.

There has been changes in the dynamics of work and employment in the context of Nepal. Mr. Sharma highlighted few points relevant to the work culture in Nepal.He said nowadays, people work for a company, and his expectations is increasing. That is a change that is good in one way, but on the other hand it might also create mismatch between expectations and opportunities they get. For eg. If we work in the banking sector, the company has some expectations from their employees and it’s vice versa. The banking sectors needs accountability and work under honesty as they deal with people’s money. So, every sector has their own features and attractions.

Ms.Karki highlighted some challenges in the context of work dynamics of Nepal. Are we updated? Should be the question we need to raise ourselves. There are many platforms to learn, either social media, internet etc. People should utilize these platforms wisely. Digital Literacy, software, accounting, bar technical skills and so many other things one must know.

Another challenge is that one must not always focus on job stability, rather they can grow building their own enterprises. And for that, a people must search opportunities in the market. She also said that we shouldn’t seek short cuts, rather speed up in order to become skillful. Other focus of the government, civil society and private enterprises should be enterprises development.  She added Sustainable Development Goal No.8, Decent work and economic growth highlights addition and promotion of micro-enterprises. The market has resources for startups, so one must be updated.

UNICEF states- “More than half of South Asian youth are not on track to have the education and skills necessary for employment in 2030.” Mr. Sharma said to cope up with it, everyone needs to take ownership to make people aware of the ways to skill development. Another thing is, people, create a model in the course of walking the ladder of career. So, we need to do justice for people’s opinions about taking us as their role model and gratitude is needed. We should also share opportunities with someone really interested.

Mr. Bodhi was asked about how much was it difficult to rely on his skills as art is just seen as a hobby. He shared his life story and he said we are in the time when people are playing with ideas. He was always passionate about art and he started exploring opportunities. He gained skills in it and now he is executing it. The challenges he faced was the family pressure and societal values that always discouraged him not to rely on art. But the most important thing is he coped with all the challenges and created Bodhi, and is able to sustain.

Mr. Sharma also gave the perspective on education relating to passion. He said passion is fire and energy and firstly we need to apply education we learn, to be a passionate person. Foreign employment is another issue in context of our country. He said that exposure is needed, that change the mindset. Whatever skills we learn during foreign education, we need to utilize in our own country.

Lastly, Ms. Karki informed the audience about many different opportunities that has been created for skill development in Youth. She related her ideas with SDG Goal No.8, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and she said a government needs to work on the targets accordingly.However,every sector are equally responsible to meet with the targets of goals that has been set under Employment and Skill Development.

The ability to make wise choices is the most valuable skill a person can develop. Let’s be skillful, follow your passion and contribute towards making progress in Nation because Skills is powerful, and if you are skillful, you never remain unemployed.