Skills for Youth Employment

Young people are in a vulnerable state in the labour market Many of them lack the skills, work experience, job-search abilities and financial resources to find employment. Youth make up 25 per cent of the global working-age population, yet they account for 40 per cent of total unemployment. Young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. Many of those who do have jobs work for long hours, on short-term and/or informal contracts, with low pay and little or no social protection and the 2008 global economic crisis has exacerbated these challenges.

Moreover, young people are particularly likely to lack Core Employability Skills (CES) since CES are acquired non-formally through on-the-job training and work experience. First-time jobseekers are likely to find themselves at a substantial disadvantage when competing for increasingly scarce employment opportunities with a rising pool of more experienced (and recently unemployed) jobseekers. Therefore, better CES provide an important avenue to promote youth employment.

Efforts to prevent early drop-outs, strengthen the link between education and training and the labour market and thus improve the employability of youth and disadvantaged youth, in particular, should include:
  • access to quality education that provides youth not only with technical and vocational but also core employability skills;
  • the promotion of work-based learning, counselling and career guidance and;
  • active labour market programmes targeting vulnerable youth in particular.