Ageing population keeps Swiss millennials up at night

Swiss millenials said job security was the most important element missing in society to ‘make them feel more free’ Keystone

Switzerland’s ageing population is the most serious issue facing the country today, followed by inequality and climate change, according to Swiss millennials who took part in a survey conducted by the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Shapers community. 

This content was published on August 28, 2017 - 18:01

Around 63% of Swiss people aged 18-35 believe the ageing population is the most serious problem affecting the small alpine nation right now, followed by inequality (51%), climate change (38%) and loss of privacy (34%), the WEF reported on Monday. 

The third edition of the Global Shapers Annual Survey aims to provide insight into their views on society, business, politics, the economy, technology, and the priorities of young people around the world. More than 31,000 participants from 186 countries and territories responded to the survey, including 447 from Switzerland. 

Overall, climate change topped the list of global concerns for the second year running. Large-scale conflicts or war and inequality came second and third, respectively. The majority of respondents to the survey said that having a start-up ecosystem, followed by access to the internet and a free media, including social media platforms, were the three most important factors for youth empowerment. 

Swiss millennials, however, felt a ‘fair and just system’ (48%) was the most important criteria for youth empowerment, followed by a start-up environment and entrepreneurship (39%), and opportunities in politics (29%). 

Work life 

While 23% of Swiss youngsters said job security was the most important element missing in society to ‘make them feel more free’, and 30% felt equal access to opportunities would help, 33% said ‘nothing was missing’. 

In answer to another question, just over one in six Swiss millennials said they would be prepared to move abroad to find a job or to advance their career. The United States would be their first choice (19%), followed by Canada (13%), and then Germany or Britain (equal 9.5%). 

Although most respondents were generally optimistic about the impact of new technology on employment, this feeling has declined. While 86% believed that technology is creating rather than destroying jobs last year, about 79% agreed with this statement in this year's survey. 

The questionnaire also showed that the vast majority (72.6%) of young people around the world would welcome refugees into their countries. More than a quarter (27.3%) say they would even take refugees into their own homes. 

Amnesty International said this was evidence that governments were out of touch with the views of citizens. 

“People fleeing violence and persecution around the world have repeatedly had doors slammed in their faces by wealthy governments who claim they cannot help them. WEF’s research shows that young people aren’t buying it, and are dismayed by the heartless attitudes of their leaders,” said Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty in a statement on Monday.

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