Youth Employment: Decent Work for All Young People, Everywhere
Youth Employment: Decent Work for All Young People, Everywhere
Youth is best understood as a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood’s independence and awareness of our interdependence as members of a community. Youth is a more fluid category than a fixed age-group. However, age is the easiest way to define this group, particularly in relation to education and employment. Therefore “youth” is often indicated as a person between the age where he/she may leave compulsory education, and the age at which he/she finds his/her first employment. This latter age limit has been increasing, as higher levels of unemployment and the cost of setting up an independent household puts many young people into a prolonged period of dependency.
The world is facing a worsening youth employment crisis: young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and almost 73 million youth worldwide are looking for work. The ILO has warned of a “scarred” generation of young workers facing a dangerous mix of high unemployment, increased in activity and precarious work in developed countries, as well as persistently high working poverty in the developing world.
Based on the UN World Youth Report 2012, out of 1.2 billion youths in the world, close to 75 million are unemployed. Thus, youth unemployment is a serious global problem. Young people without jobs not only face destitution but also become a source of political instability and socioeconomic disruption. The impact of high youth unemployment is particularly severe in developing countries where poverty is rampant and the social security system to support the unemployed is non-existent.
- Many young people in countries across the world often work unacceptably long hours under informal, intermittent and insecure work arrangements
- Young people are often working below their potential, in part-time, temporary, casual or seasonal employment
- Most of the world’s youth work in the informal economy, both in rural and urban areas. They lack adequate incomes, social protection, security and representation.
- The “transition gap” between completion of initial education and training, and entry to employment has tended to lengthen; those who find work tends to spend more time in temporary, insecure jobs.
- In some countries, many young people fail to find jobs on completing their education or training, even when they have gone relatively far in the educational system (the “educated unemployed”) because of the mismatch of their skills with labour market requirements.
- Lack of opportunities for work experience, combined with the absence of adequate labour market information, vocational guidance and counselling, poor job placement mechanisms and inadequate demand exacerbate the problem of getting a decent job
- There are a number of factors that impact on the ability of some young people to get a decent job while not on others. These factors include discrimination, economic hardship and access issues
The key lesson to be learned:
- Countries that have implemented macroeconomic policy frameworks focusing on employment generation have expanded youth employment opportunities. Effective linkages between macroeconomic and social policy, including education, are important. Continuous efforts to increase aggregate demand and stabilize and encourage economic growth are recognized as well as their need to be associated with micro-level policies targeting young women and men
- Countries are focusing on sectoral development to create employment for their young citizens; some have been able to combine this with training, which has potential for longer-term benefits. The sectors being promoted are country-specific. Involvement of the social partners in sectoral planning is beneficial
- Countries are introducing legislation and regulations that deal specifically with youth employment or prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, or promote the establishment of enterprises. Labour inspection is an essential aspect to ensuring the rights of young workers and the quality of their working conditions.
- Many countries are striving to create more jobs for youth through support for entrepreneurship training and the encouragement of youth lending strategies, incubators and cooperatives
- Youth employment strategies that have had positive results focus on a spectrum of factors (skills development; work experience; the provision of labour market services) involve a range of relevant government departments, work in conjunction with employers’ and workers’ organizations and other agencies and include marginalized youth.
- Active labour market policies and programmes are being implemented to create jobs for young people and/or to increase their employability. In some cases these are successfully used to address the particular needs of disadvantaged youth.
- The dual system combining school-based education with work-based training and apprenticeship continues to be an effective learning model. Social partner involvement in programme design and implementation helps ensure effectiveness.
- Targeted training programmes to enhance youth employability are under way in a number of countries, often in combination with employment services and placement opportunities. Successful practices in this regard have been established.
The benefits of investing in youth:
- Pro-youth employment strategies benefit everyone. Investment in youth is an investment in society. Decent work for young people has multiplier effects throughout the economy, boosting consumer demand and adding to tax revenue. The demand for social services decreases significantly when youth have decent work, because their timeis spent in productive, self-esteem building and healthy ways. Successful early career development is correlated with long-term career prospects. It shifts young people from social dependence to self-sufficiency and helps them escape poverty and actively contribute to society
- Young women and men strive to contribute to their families, communities and societies; build their own families and communities, they seek to better their situations; they have dreams and aspirations that they are eager to fulfil. The route to achieving these is through decent work. If this door is closed, the future of young people, their families, communities and societies is bleak.
- An understanding of the factors that impact on youth employment is instrumental in addressing the challenge – maximizing the potential and minimizing the cost.
It’s time to tackle youth unemployment in that spirit; as Einstein said, “we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Generation should stop asking “why me?” and start asking “why not?
reference: International Labour Conference
Posted on June 21, 2013, in Blogging competition and tagged Decent work, Developing country, Education, International Labour Organization, Precarious work, Work experience, Youth, youth employment, youth unemployment, Youth work. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.