Urgent global action needed to address youth employment crisis

A third of the world’s 1.8 billion young people are currently neither in employment, education nor training, says a new report.

The report available to the Ghana News Agency through the World Bank said of the one billion more youth that would enter the job market in the next decade, only 40 per cent are expected to be able to get jobs that currently exist.

It noted that the global economy would need to create 600 million jobs over the next 10 years – five million jobs each month – simply to keep pace with projected youth employment rates.

The report said reversing the youth employment crisis is a pressing global priority and the socio-economic cost of inaction is high.

The inaugural report, entitled “Toward Solutions for Youth Employment: A 2015 Baseline Report,” was released on Tuesday by Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE) – a multistakeholder global coalition established to improve youth access to work opportunities.

The coalition is a partnership started by the World Bank Group, Plan International, the International Youth Foundation, Youth Business International, RAND, Accenture, and the International Labour Organisation.

Matthew Hobson, S4YE Coalition Manager said: “Young people account for 40 per cent of the world’s population – the largest youth generation in human history – but they are disproportionately affected by unemployment. This is a persistent problem. Approximately 30 per cent of young people are not in employment, training or education, and around the world, young women are worse off.”

“We need to act now, and we need to act together if we are going to realise the significant opportunities presented by this many young people today.”

It said while circumstances differ in various regions, the issues remain the same – the world’s youth are unable to find sustainable productive work.

The statement said this contributes to inequality, spurs social tension, and poses a risk to present and future national and global prosperity and security.

The report provides a baseline of trends, identifies constraints, and provides potential solutions to the youth employment crisis based on knowledge of successful and promising programs.

It also highlights specific population – young women, youth in conflict-affected and fragile states, as well as rural and urban youth – that requires dedicated attention.

It said Africa and Asia are urbanising faster than the rest of the world and are projected to become 56 and 64 per cent urban, by 2050.

The United Nations expects continuing population growth and urbanisation to add 2.5 billion people to the world’s urban population by 2050 with nearly 90 per cent of the increases concentrated in Africa and Asia.

Nicole Goldin, lead author said: “Success, sustainability and scale in all these pursuits will not be possible without collaboration involving governments and public institutions at all levels to strengthen capacity and policies that foster an environment to enable growth and allow proven interventions to succeed at a greater scale.”

“In today’s young generation, these baselines- context, inclusion, evidence and knowledge- signals the road ahead.”

Over the next 15 years, S4YE would increase the number of young people engaged in productive work in a world, when all youth have access to job opportunities that empower them to escape extreme poverty, boost shared prosperity worldwide based on the SDGs. GNA

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