The Momentum for Youth Employment is Now!
Almost everyone agrees that youth employment is important. Rising youth unemployment is one of the most significant problems facing economies and societies in today’s world. According to the ILO World Employment Social Outlook from 2015, at least 475 million new jobs need to be created over the next decade to absorb the 73 million youth currently unemployed and the 40 million new annual entrants to the labour market. Especially the Middle Eastern and North African region is experiencing great challenges with unemployment rate reaching 49% for young women and 27% for young men.
As a global reaction to this continuous challenge, the new 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in September 2015, aims to ensure inclusive quality education and lifelong learning for all, including a clear target on youth employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.
In November 2015, all UNESCO’s 195 Member States adopted an international Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) where education, training and relevant skills for youth employment are highlighted. Moreover, in response to the global youth employment challenges, the new draft UNESCO Strategy for TVET (aligned with the Education 2030 Framework for Action) also places Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship as one of three key focus areas over the next six years (2016-2021). If the Strategy gets approved by the Executive Board in April 2016, it will encourage greater global attention to youth employment!
We, as youth, can take this opportunity to put youth unemployment on the national agenda as well! We can get informed and participate in national dialogues on education, training and employment. We can make sure that employment policies address the needs of youth and that education and training policies are updated to respond to future skills needs in our societies. NET-MED Youth has a significant role in this momentum. Seven NET-MED Youth countries are currently being supported to develop tools to anticipate future skills needs. Some are planning conferences with youth, businesses and other stakeholders to discuss the youth unemployment issue and how to address it. Some NET-MED Youth countries are planning national campaigns and cooperation with businesses and others are planning television programmes on the issue.
The momentum is now. Let’s put youth employment at the center stage!
Activities building skills among youth organizations and young journalists; to enhance youth representation in media and promote freedom of expression, media and information literacy and youth-generated media content.
Activities joining youth organizations, employment experts and different national stakeholders to engage in dialogue and work together on unemployment solutions and skills needs.
Activities empowering youth to participate in the communal and national development, revision and implementation of national youth strategies and public policies.