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The world is young!

news - 26/06/2009

Young people aged 15-24 face serious employment problems. They make up 37% of the world's unemployed even though they represent just over 20% of the active population.

When they work, young workers are more likely than adults to be engaged in jobs that pay less, are less regulated and are more precarious. For a majority of them, these jobs are informal, thus outside the usual channels of representation, which makes the young people even more vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation and abuse.

In 2004, it was estimated  that 52 million people aged 15-17 were engaged in hazardous work. Among young people themselves, some groups, such as women, ethnic minorities and rural communities, require specific attention.  Neglecting to develop young people not only increases their vulnerability but also undermines a country’s productive potential, with serious political, economic and social consequences.

Given the multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral nature of youth employment problems, it is of the utmost importance that youth policies be considered in an integrated manner, linking education and health to macro-economic policy, employment, social justice and democratic participation, thus involving stakeholders such as governments, social partners, and educational and vocational training institutions.

Against this background, the Centre is running a training activity on "Tackling Youth Employment Problems" from 29 June to 10 July 2009.  The course proposes placing youth employment issues at the centre of employment promotion policy.  Following the approach taken by the ILO’s Guide for the Preparation of National Action Plans on Youth Employment,  and with the Decent Work Agenda  as a paradigm for action, it will examine youth employment issues, seeking to improve the situation and prospects of young people in the labour market by strengthening the quantity and the quality of youth employment.