Youth Employment

I’m flying off to Washington DC tomorrow (staying at 2500 Pennsylvania Ave so hopefully have time to walk down the road) , on behalf of the International Young Democrat Union, as part of the UN Secretary General’s Youth Employment Network Panel.

The panel is convened by the World Bank, United Nations and the International Labour Organisation jointly.

The overall objective is to produce strategies that will get more young people into the labour market globally.

I would be interested in ideas, links etc from readers on ways to achieve this goal. From my point of view you can divide strategies into three areas.

First are strategies which will increase the number of jobs globally. Relevant issues are free trade agreements, lower corporates taxes, reduced business compliace costs.

Second are strategies that would make employing young people more attractive to employers than older workers. Relevant issues are youth rates, minimum wages.

Third are strategies about education and skills. Getting that first job is the hardest, and in many countries youth do not have enough skills to make it worth an employer risking hiring them. I tend to think that the major priority has to be on making sure every child goes to school and leaves school able to read and write, and preferably count. Without that they are uphill all their life. If the concern is youth employment then diverting money from tertiary education (which helps you get a better job) into early childhood and primary (which allows you to get any job at all) would seem sensible.

Feedback and ideas welcome.

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