According to Dr. Carol D’Amico, author of Workforce 2020: Work & Workers of the 21st Century, the changing nature of America’s workplace makes the need for young leaders even more important. Sadly, for the first time in history, America’s youth is less prepared to take their place in society than their parents
Dr. D’Amico discusses three factors that make it important for youth to develop their leadership skills.
- Technology is changing the type of workers that will be needed in the future. Automation is taking the place of unskilled labor, making it critical for youth to develop the leadership needed to fill the better paying, safer and more stimulating jobs that will replace unskilled jobs.
- The saying, “It’s a small world,” will be even more applicable in the future. Unskilled workers will be competing for jobs, not just here in the U.S., but in countries all over the world. We are already feeling the effects of outsourcing American jobs to other countries. Again, American youth must be prepared to step into the more highly skilled jobs created by the demand for exported U.S. products.
- Another factor to take into account is the aging workforce. Nearly 76 million people (the Baby Boomers) are poised to reach retirement age over the next 20 years. However, America’s birth rate is down, meaning that the demand for skilled employees will become critical. Leadership training will be even more essential in enabling youth to develop character, confidence and values that promote the goal of healthy behavior and to be able to take their place in society.
Other benefits of youth leadership training include:
- Better attitude about school, higher graduation rates, lower dropout rates from high school
- Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence
- Healthier personal relationships
- Better lifestyle choices
- Decreased likelihood of substance abuse and criminal behavior