Archive UN Launches First-Ever System Wide Approach to Youth Employment

UN Launches First-Ever System Wide Approach to Youth Employment

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Kemi Busari

The Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth was yesterday launched at the United Nations (UN) headquarters today by Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), at the opening of the UN’s annual Youth Forum.

In describing the Initiative, Ryder stated that it is a unique partnership with governments, the UN system, businesses, academic institutions, youth organizations and other groups to scale-up action to create new opportunities and avenues for quality employment in the global economy and “assist young people in developing the skills needed to compete in today’s job market”.

With more than twenty Ministers of Youth and over 500 youth delegates in attendance, Ryder encouraged youth to become “fully engaged” and be active agents of change.

“Your voices reflect the aspirations of young people everywhere. Your voices must be heard and acted upon if we are to shape inclusive and sustainable societies, challenging injustices and inequalities and opening pathways to peace, progress and prosperity for all.”

“Today, two out of every five young persons of working age are either unemployed or working jobs that don’t pay enough to escape poverty. The trap of working poverty affects as many as 169 million youth.” said Ryder.

The UN’s Chief Executives Board for Coordination, comprised of the 29 Heads of all UN entities, have endorsed this initiative as a key priority. Additionally, the challenge of youth employment was included as a central goal in the UN’s ambitious new development vision as outlined in the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In consultation with governments, the initiative will coordinate employment and economic policies for job growth and social inclusion and protect labour rights to ensure that young people receive equal treatment.

The Initiative will make full use of the expertise of participating UN entities and other partners by focusing on “green jobs” for youth, quality apprenticeships, digital skills and the building of “tech-hubs”, support young people in the rural economy, facilitate transition from the informal to the formal economy and promote youth entrepreneurship.

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