Commitments made to reduce high youth unemployment in Marshall Islands

Launch of the Republic of Marshall Islands National Action Plan on Youth Employment (2017-2019)

News | 16 November 2017
Signing Ceremony, Majuro, Marshall Islands.
Majuro (ILO News) - The Acting President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Hon. Wilbur Heine and the ILO Director for Pacific Island Countries, Mr Donglin Li signed the National Action Plan agreement during a Cabinet Meeting in November 2017 in Majuro, Marshall Islands.

“The government and people of the Marshall Islands appreciates the technical assistance provided by the ILO in jointly formulating this important policy document”, said Hon. Wilbur Heine. He further added that the 7 outcomes in the NAP are very important to ensure that young people, now and in the future, are able to transit from school to jobs.

The development of the National Action Plan on Youth Employment (NAP 2017-2019) has been nationally driven by the National Training Council (NTC), under the guidance of the TVET Steering Committee and technically supported by the ILO. Since 2016, there has been wide consultation across government ministries, regional and international development partners, training institutions, employer and workers organization's  and youth representatives.

Mr Donglin Li said the objective of the NAP is to guide the efforts of government, development and donor agencies, non-government organizations, youth groups and any other agencies working in this space to reduce the 58.5% national youth unemployment rate. In his speech, he stressed that this policy document was not the end but a means to the end. “My first message is that this policy document must guide us to ensure that at the end, we have created decent work for young women and men in Marshall Islands."

This NAP is also the product of a specific recommendation of the Employment, Livelihoods & Social Protection chapter of 2016 Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), endorsed by government. This NAP also confirms the ILO commitment to address the issue of youth employment as agreed to with its constituents at the 2015 Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting and 2017 Pacific Future of Work Meeting.

This NAP is a simple and practical policy guidance document that address the problem of lack of support for entrepreneurship, skills mismatch and weak employment services.

To address these problem areas, the NAP focuses on the following seven outcomes:
  • Youths in school/students are able to better understand financial and business concepts;
  • Enhanced access to BDS providers reduces the risk of youth enterprises and facilitates the growth of green enterprises and cultural Industries;
  • Increased human resource capacities complemented by a higher retention rate of local talent;
  • An efficient Labour Division with established linkages with training institutions and the Chamber of Commerce;
  • Potential drop-outs learn employable skills;
  • Job opportunities are more accessible to youth;
  • 7. More young people making the transition from school-to-work through better career choices from a young age.

The NAP is coordinated by the National Training Council (NTC) through the guidance of the TVET Steering Committee and will work collaboratively with the ILO in the implementation of the NAP.