World Youth Skills Day 2018
After a few clicks on the internet everyone can find out what World Youth Skills Day is about, why it is important to celebrate and bring attention to it. In my opinion everyone possesses some kind of skills. People think those skills are more or less significant than others or some might think they don’t even have one. I say they are just not aware of it. These things can be discovered and improved by education and trainings, however, for a lot of people there is not this opportunity. And even if they have, the education system is rigid and not suitable to bring the best out of people. Every young person from different backgrounds faces the challenges of the world.
Personally I have my own fears about my skills, eventhough I am from a central european country, I am more lucky than some people in world, you can say that I am well educated, but still, I have doubts too. All my life I have known what I wanted to do after school, how I am going to enter the real working life, but as I got closer to it I became unsure. I started to doubt every thought I had about this. Why? Because I had some experiences from summer jobs.
One time I worked as a seller at a festival tent, I worked at least 6 hours every evening for way less than the minimum wage per hour. There were even times when my boss made me work for about 18 hours and I almost got the same amount of money. I just got a very little more than the usual. If I remember correctly, my hourly pay was around 1 euro worth in our currency. Actually it was and still is illegal, but people do this anyway. My boss really took advantage of me. I knew this was not good, but I wanted to work and he could do this to me because I was young. He didn’t think of me as one true member of the labour market, an equal. He only saw me as a kid and treated me accordingly to that. I didn’t acted like a kid. I worked hard, I did everthing right. He was lucky with me and wanted me back for the next summer. I didn’t go.
Another example is my internship at the end of my university. I was working in a bank. It was a small bank, the environment was friendly. The problem with it was that they only saw me as an intern, a young girl. They asked me to stay with them after my internship was over and I stayed for another month, however, nothing changed. I still felt less than one of them.
I also worked in a place where I worked less days because I am a female. There were boyish and girlish job posts. There were more boyish than girlish places in the Aquapark so the boys could work about 20 days in one month while I was lucky to have 10 days. However the task was the same, guard the pools and slides, make sure everyone is safe, just in different parts of the Water Park. The girls had to be always with children, on very rare occasion we could go to the big slides. Our bosses thought we, girls, don’t have the confidence to deal with problematic guests. Why should girls do that if there are the boys for that? I ask: why shouldn’t? At least give me the opportunity. Don’t think I cannot handle things only because I am a woman. I loved working there and this kind of discrimination was my only bad memory.
After all these I can say that even if you have the skills they need they don’t give you the benefit of the doubt. Only because you are young or a woman. This needs to change. From the very begining like giving those kind of education which focus on the individuals skills, we shouldn’t be judged based on the same things, we are different. After this, the behavior of the employers towards young people need to change. If they successfully gained some skills from the school, let them benefit you in the long run and not take advantage of them in short time.
These experiences opened my eyes, gave me fears and doubts but I also learned a lot of things, I improved in several ways. Now, I am volunteering in a foreign country, which gives me another opportunity to obtain new skills and improve my existing ones. I am sure I will return home more confidently and that is always an advantage if you want to get a job you are actually interested in. I strongly advise any kind of volunteering because it gives another perspective and it is a good way to celebrate World Youth Skills Day.