Rethinking Priorities,
Reimagining Possibilities

2015 IYF Annual Report

The New

A revolution is underway in how we live and work. With artificial intelligence, smart factories and farms, and the sharing economy going mainstream, disruption is the order of the day. Caught in the midst of this kaleidoscope of change are today’s 1.2 billion young people. How do we ensure the largest youth generation the world has ever known has what it takes to navigate our rapidly transforming world?

In 2015, with a new, three-year strategic plan in place, IYF committed to redoubling our efforts to remove the barriers that prevent too many young people from reaching their full potential as employees, entrepreneurs, leaders, and change makers, and to ensure that youth are at the top of the global agenda.

Read on to explore three of our key priorities in depth.

Section one

Skills That Last a Lifetime

Five truths about future-proof skills

Amidst unprecedented technological change and marketplace shifts, today’s young people struggle to find and keep jobs. Forget keeping pace; they need to be prepared for jobs that don’t yet exist with skills that will endure. What are these future-proof skills?

Experts agree that social-emotional learning, or the development of life skills, will serve a person through early adulthood and beyond. These non-cognitive abilities—knowing how to manage emotions, communicate effectively, make responsible decisions, and maintain positive relationships—are critical to being a good student, worker, and citizen.

With life skills at the core of IYF’s pursuit of positive youth development, we’ve identified five critical truths about these competencies:

  • Life skills are learned, not innate. While it was long believed that attributes such as grit and empathy were innate personality traits, research now demonstrates that these competencies can be taught and learned.1
  • Life skills can be learned through adolescence and early adulthood.2 Previously, educators believed that life skills—if they could be learned—needed to be acquired in early childhood. Our own work with Passport to Success® is proof of the transformative value of social-emotional learning for youth.
  • Life skills become even more valuable over time. Technical skills can quickly become outdated, but employers are always looking to hire people who manage their time well, think critically, and set goals effectively. These skills are hard to find among entry-level job seekers,3 and they prove increasingly valuable throughout a person’s career.4
  • Young people with well-developed life skills tend to achieve better career outcomes and experience fewer social problems. Equipping youth with social and emotional skills improves their chances for success in school, life, and work. It may offer even greater safeguards than socio-economic environment, family stability, and cognitive skills.5
  • Life skills can and should be measured. Mounting evidence shows not only that life skills can be measured, but that properly done assessments position youth for success by validating their competency across a range of sought-after skills.6 IYF is currently developing a workforce readiness assessment, in partnership with ProExam, experts in non-cognitive skills testing.

“I never say goodbye [to my trainees], because who says goodbye to the future. Rather, my message is: ‘I’ll see you on the road to success. Know I’ll always be there for you.’”

—Arsen Kambalov 22-year-old Passport to Success trainer for Chevron-supported Zangar initiative in Kazakhstan
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“To begin with, our aim was to support a project that helped those in need. We later realized that many of the young people had a great deal to offer our company. The project benefits young people, society, and companies such as ours.”

— Pilar Vilca Selection Analyst at Cantol SAC, a metallurgical company in Peru that has hired graduates from the Caterpillar Foundation-supported EquipYouth initiative


Annual Report 2015

Rethinking Priorities,
Reimagining Possibilities