Programmes that guarantee young people will get a job, education or training have shown good results in a number of countries.
In Finland, the success rate of the youth guarantee scheme is estimated at more than 80 per cent. A registered youth has to be offered a job, academic education, vocational training, or another measure to improve job prospects within three months of unemployment.
In some countries, similar programmes focus more on enhancing educational attainment to improve future employability. In New Zealand, the objective of the Youth Guarantee initiative is to improve transitions between school, tertiary education and work, by providing improved access to study to 16- and 17-year-olds not currently in education.
Vocational education and training
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) can play a central role in preparing young people for work, provided the programmes reflect labour market needs. Several countries have undertaken reforms to make the programmes more relevant to today’s world of work.
In China, more than 3,000 “skilled workers’ schools” offer comprehensive vocational training courses. Nearly 95 per cent of graduates – there were close to 400 million in 1998 – find jobs.
Viet Nam is diversifying its vocational training to include full-time and regular training, mobile training, and training in enterprises and in traditional craft villages – small communities whose inhabitants work together to make specific goods.
The dual system – which combines school-based education with in-company training – is typical of Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, and more recently Norway. Denmark and Switzerland are among the OECD countries with the lowest unemployment rates for youth, while Austria is well below the OECD average.
Anticipating skills needs
Anticipating future skills needs is the first building block of strong training and skills strategies.
The United Kingdom Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) provides labour market information and advises local governments on skills policies. It is a public body made up of employers, trade unions, government and civil society representatives.
The Republic of Korea’s sustained growth pattern has been attributed in part to a government-led skills development system designed to ensure industry gets the skilled workforce it needs. Investment in a well-educated and highly skilled workforce has been an integral part of encouraging the adoption of new technologies.
Expanded Public Works Programme
South Africa is plagued with 50 per cent youth unemployment, high levels of poverty and inadequate skills. In 2004, the government introduced the labour-intensive Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to provide income relief through temporary work. The programme helps develop marketable skills and entrepreneurship capacities among marginalized sections of society. In 2010–11, it created some 200,000 full-time jobs, half of which went to youth. The government receives technical support from the ILO in the design and implementation of EPWP.
Wage subsidies and other financial incentives – such as temporary social security exemptions – for employers who recruit young people can help improve school-to-work transitions. In France and Italy, financial incentives are granted to employers who recruit and provide on-the-job training to young jobseekers. Wage subsidies work best when they are designed to address specific labour market disadvantages faced by young people and when they are provided for a limited period of time.
Reforms to help transitions to formal employment
Following the economic crisis that rocked the country in the early 2000s, the Government of Argentina introduced reforms to address high-levels of informality. These included legislation giving small and micro enterprises a 12 month reduction in social security contributions for new recruits. Another law established sanctions for enterprises exploiting apprentices and young workers. Specific measures also were adopted to curb informality in the most affected occupations, such as simplifying the registration of domestic workers.
EU member states should guarantee that young Europeans do not remain out of work or education for more than four months, according to a scheme unveiled Wednesday by the European Commission. However the cost of tackling youth unemployment would largely fall to the states, said EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor, adding that “the costs of … Continue reading »
The last crisis has merely amplified what is an increasingly problematic structural issue in France: Youth unemployment. In the last 30 years, the youth unemployment rate has never dropped below 15% and has regularly exceeded 20%. Yet, integrating young people into the labour market has been an ongoing public policy objective since the end of … Continue reading »
‘In industrialized economies such as the European countries unemployment rates are very responsive to the business cycle and significant shares stay unemployed for more than one year.” writes Künn, Steffen in Unemployment and active labor market policy : new evidence on start-up subsidies, marginal employment and programs for youth unemployed. (Adapted choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor … Continue reading »
Youth Unemployment | More severe in countries in which vocational preparation takes place in full-time schools
“Young graduates and early school leavers entering the labour market are a population at risk. They are exposed to above-average turnover rates between different jobs and face an increased risk of unemployment. “ write Marc Piopiunik and Paul Ryan in Improving the transition between education/training and the labour market: What can we learn from various … Continue reading »
Unemployment among young people in Africa is increasingly recognised as a first order development challenge. Coming on the heels of sustained investment in education and unprecedented but largely jobless economic growth, the possibility of a ‘lost generation’ of young people, for whom meaningful and rewarding work is little more than a mirage, poses a fundamental … Continue reading »
In March this year, for the first time on record, more than half of the young people in Spain and Greece were counted as unemployed by the OECD, which provided the chart above. Three months later, the situation is still getting worse. Official youth unemployment in Greece and Spain has crossed 51 percent. That’s worse … Continue reading »
An Interview with ILO Economist Sara Elder
Q. There doesn’t seem to be much of a recovery in the job prospects of young workers. Why does this segment of the labour force continue to lag behind? A: Youth tend to suffer more during a recession, and take longer to recover from its effects. They often lack the experience and / or connections … Continue reading »
“Around the world, governments and businesses face a conundrum: high levels of youth unemployment and a shortage of job seekers with critical skills” writes Mona Mourshed, Diana Farrell, and Dominic Barton in a McKinsey in Its report Education to Employment Designing a system that works. (Adapted choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor to follow) How can a country successfully move … Continue reading »
T’S easy to start believing it. It’s easy to start believing it even when it’s George Osborne saying it. Easy to start believing that everyone on benefits is a workshy scrounger when the rest of us are skint and wondering how our wages will stretch to payday never mind Christmas. It’s easy to start believing … Continue reading »
“Youth unemployment was rising since well before the current economic downturn, but the fallout from the financial crisis has brought it to the top of the government’s agenda and generated a plethora of publications and initiatives to tackle the problem.” write Tess Lanning and Katerina Rudiger in Youth unemployment in Europe: lessons for the UK (Adapted choosen excerpts by …Continue reading »