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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.en_banner_principal

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.

Key issue:

  • 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 Read the rest of this entry