Youth employment

ILO research highlights gaps and potential in use of technology to help youth find work

Technological transformation in public employment services can support youth in Asia-Pacific to navigate labour market transitions and enter decent work.

News | Bangkok, Thailand | 26 July 2023
© J. Urmila/ILO
BANGKOK, Thailand (ILO News) – Technological solutions have the potential to transform public employment services (PES) across Asia and the Pacific, and better support young people entering the labour market, according to a new ILO study.

Technology in public employment services to promote youth employment in Asia and the Pacific draws on survey results and interviews conducted with government entities responsible for PES in eleven countries in the Asia and the Pacific region in 2022.

The report provides country-level examples and practical policy considerations to inform the next generation of public employment services to empower young people for a human-centred recovery. Countries covered are: Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Viet Nam.

The report highlights how technology creates both opportunities and challenges for PES and youth detailing how technologies can create better possibilities to target specific segments in populations (e.g., specific age groups or segments such as youth not in employment, education or training) using data and adaptive technologies.

Youth are traditionally at the forefront of technology adoption and have a better long-term outlook when it comes to acceptance of new technology and media, as well as investing in developing their skills in these new tools and services. However, study findings indicate that despite youth clearly being recognized as an important target group, organizational obstacles – such as lack of resources, low digital capacity and limited staff awareness – hamper the successful execution of youth programmes through digital technologies.

“Many public employment services in the Asia-Pacific region have plans to leverage technologies to strengthen their services for youth in the future. This report provides a wealth of information and guidance to support these efforts and to help young people find decent work,” said Felix Weidenkaff, Youth Employment Expert at ILO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

Recommendations made by the study include enhancing IT integration and partnerships with key stakeholders, investing in data analytics to better tailor services, developing programmes that include equal opportunities for all client groups, taking into account the new use and the digital culture of young people and enabling partnerships.

The study was prepared by in collaboration with the World Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES).