This report from McKinsey provides a lot of food for thought (Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works)
I am going to quote two sections that caught my eye:
Worldwide, young people are three times more likely than their parents to be out of work. In Greece, Spain, and South Africa, more than half of young people are unemployed, and jobless levels of 25 percent or more are common in Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. In the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, more than one in eight of all 15- to 24-year-olds are not in employment, education, or training (NEET). Around the world, the International Labour Organization estimates that 75 million young people are unemployed. Including estimates of underemployed youth would potentially triple this number.Blimey.
Paradoxically, there is a critical skills shortage at the same time. Across the nine countries that are the focus of this report (Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), only 43 percent of employers surveyed agreed that they could find enough skilled entry-level workers. This problem is not likely to be a temporary blip; in fact, it will probably get much worse. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by 2020 there will be a global shortfall of 85 million high- and middle-skilled workers.Wow.
It doesn't take a genius to see the business implications. A large group of young people are going to be effectively economic inactive. To fill the gap in middle-skilled workers there is going to be even more pressure on older people to continue in employment.
The next time some dim-brain waffles on about older people working longer creating problems for young people in the workforce - point them to this article. Dick Stroud