The United Nations sustainable development goals [SDG’s], include eliminating extreme poverty, and boosting shared prosperity for the world’s population by 2030. Specifically,
- Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- Goal 8.. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE) was launched in October 2014 [now 2 years on] as a multistakeholder Coalition to positively disrupt the youth employment landscape. S4YE is a partnership initiated by the World Bank, Plan International, the International Youth Foundation (IYF), Youth Business International (YBI), RAND, Accenture, and the International Labour Organization (ILO) with a view to contributing to a world where all youth have access to work opportunities.
The S4YE teams asserts that the odds are stacked against youth around the world. In the next 10 years…
- Over 1 billion people will enter in the job market
- Only 40% will be able to enter jobs that currently exist
- 621 million young people are not employed or in education or training
- Young people are 4x more likely to be unemployed than adults
S4YE is a global coalition of stakeholders working on youth employment, namely civil society partners, government officials, foundations, private sector entities, international organisations, and young people. S4YE partners have operations in almost every country around the world.
The coalition aims to ensure they are able to link actors together and learn lessons from youth employment interventions implemented in all countries around the world. Wherever possible, it will manage knowledge and generate lessons that have clear value for application and replicability in other contexts, in order to accelerate the volume of young people that can be supported to access productive work. Additionally, in specific regions, the coalition aims to leverage resources for youth employment interventions at scale.
As 2015 ended, this coalition identified a number of evolving trends that [were/are] likely to have an impact on youth employment over the next 15 years.
As 2016 ends, I doubt any of these evolving trends have changed, rather perhaps, the “arcs are steepening”…
- Rising inequality, rising social unrest, and rising levels of movement of people around the world all herald unprecedented times—and call for unprecedented action. And as this report shows, these are extraordinary times.
- We now have a record number of young people on the planet—1.8 billion, with approximately 85 percent of them living in developing and emerging economies and in fragile states.
- While roughly a third of today’s youth—most of them women—are not in employment, education, or training (NEET), a billion more young people will enter the job market over the next decade. We also know that the world’s young women and girls and other groups of youth are too often at a disadvantage in getting an education and securing a stable livelihood.
- And hundreds of millions of young people are on the move: seeking better opportunities in cities or seeking refuge from conflict, war, or disaster.
- Indeed, the past 12 months have seen the largest human movement since the 1940s, and this figure is sure to rise.
The S4YE Benchmark Report from 2015 set about defining the challenges and goals for Youth Employment initiatives. These hold true for all countries today, I suspect.
A number of factors make the jobs challenge more acute among youth. These include
- constraints to youth employment may be borne on the individual level,
- result from market or government failure, or
- be a symptom of a weak or unsupportive macroeconomic environment.
The financial crisis and global recession of the last decade are among the leading causes [and I would add automation] , affecting youth more directly because they hold a disproportionate share of temporary jobs whose contracts offer less protection.