Knack for youth employment & empowerment

The level of unemployment among young people is quickly becoming a global problem the magnitude of which eclipses all others: the Economist Intelligence Unit estimates that about one-third of the world’s youth (aged 15–24) are not in employment, education, or workforce training programs. This number is growing by about 45 million every year, affecting youth in both developed and developing economies.

This rapidly unfolding crisis has devastating effects for the younger generation, their families, and the communities where they live. Being out of work and out of school undermines their short- and long-term economic security, prolongs or perpetuates cycles of poverty, and even lowers the prospects of marrying and building a family of their own. Moreover, feeling stuck with no opportunity on the horizon inevitably dampens one’s hope about the future and increases despair, which, in and of itself, leads to negative behaviors.

At the same time, tens of millions of jobs in the US, India, Africa, Europe and beyond remain unfilled because employers can’t find and hire talent.

How can technology and gaming help reverse this trend and create a pathway to economic security and social mobility?

Youth playing Knack games in New York City

The Playbook

There are three primary strategies for changing the course of youth unemployment:

1. Employers

Employers should rely on data from our study with The Rockefeller Foundation and (finally) let go of the mistaken (yet far too common) perception that an applicant with a college degree is more likely to succeed than one without a diploma.

Employers should re-examine and relax the credentials and qualifications they require for entry-level jobs; and realize that up-credentialing is detrimental to their business.

Employer should use Knack to eliminate noise and amplify inherent signals of human potential; and identify and hire youth with the potential for job success. Our data leaves no doubt that youth have high potential for success; it is only a matter of letting the data help you identify the best-matching role.

2. Education

Schools and workforce training programs should follow the lead of Tata Strive and use Knack to match young people to fields of study and training programs that are best aligned with their strengths.

Schools should educate youth to increase their employment prospects in a fast-changing world, and help them develop foundational skills that will enable them to learn, adapt, and reinvent themselves to stay ahead of job-replacing technologies and automation.

3. Governments

Cities and governments should follow the lead of the State of Illinois and the New York City Center for Youth Employment and onboard youth to Knack to help them discover their potential for academic and career success.

Cities and governments should onboard youth to Knack to help them make their talent discoverable to schools and employers so opportunities can find them.

The Rockefeller Foundation was the first to see the catalytic potential of Knack, and, as the Financial Times reported, “concluded that the games ‘hold great promise’ for changing the course of youth employment. The foundation is especially excited because unlike intensive training programmes such as one-on-one interview-coaching, video games are easily scalable, creating the opportunity to get a lot of people their first job, fast.”

We see an unparalleled opportunity to make an unprecedented impact.

We want to hear from you and partner on making this a reality.

contact us now