This 10th edition of the EFA Global Monitoring Report could not be better timed. The third goal of Education for All is to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to acquire skills. The urgency of reaching this goal has sharpened acutely since 2000.

The global economic downturn is impacting on unemployment. One young person in eight across the world is looking for work. Youth populations are large and growing. The wellbeing and prosperity of young people depend more than ever on the skills that education and training can provide. Failing to meet this need is a waste of human potential and economic power. Youth skills have never been so vital.

This Global Monitoring Report reminds us that education is not only about making sure all children can attend school. It is about setting young people up for life, by giving them opportunities to find decent work, earn a living, contribute to their communities and societies, and fulfil their potential. At the wider level, it is about helping countries nurture the workforce they need to grow in the global economy.