Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment 2012-2013
There are 1.2 billion youth in the world aged 15 to 24. They comprise 17% of the world’s population and 40% of the world’s unemployed. In 2010, 357.7 million youth were not in education, employment or training (NEET), and the number is increasing.
Realizing the untapped potential of youth is critical for those countries in which large youth populations and the lack of opportunity foster social unrest, as turmoil in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe has demonstrated. It is equally important for ageing countries, in which the next generation will bear an ever larger share of the social costs.
The threat of youth unemployment is not limited to developing countries. The financial crisis has become a socio-economic crisis, impacting the young by increasing the burden of debt, creating a lack of job opportunities, causing resource degradation and decreasing the overall quality of life. The crisis has stoked increasing resentment among youth and has deepened mistrust of existing institutions, corporations and governments.
It is important that the role young people can play – as agents of change, and precious resources and innovators in the business sector – be recognized. Such recognition can avoid disastrous short-term consequences and encourage sustainable long-term development, economic growth and poverty alleviation in societies around the world.
- “More than 6 million young people around the world have given up looking for a job altogether.”
- Before the crisis, the annual increase in the number of unemployed youths was 100,000; now it is over 4 million.
- The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has the highest youth unemployment rate, with approximately one in four young people without a job.
“For those playing a part in the transition of the [Arab] region, the lessons are clear: it is not wise to separate political rights from economic rights.”
Majid Jafar, Chief Executive Officer, Crescent Petroleum, United Arab Emirates
Your Assignment: Grow the Global Economy - Entrepreneurship Education for all Youth
Youth Unemployment Visualization 2013
World Development Report on Jobs
Working with youth: Addressing the youth employment challenge
UN World Youth Report
The youth employment crisis: A call for action
Youth Unemployment Challenge and Solutions: What Business Can Do Now
Addressing the 100 Million Youth Challenge
Garcia, Marito and Fares, Jean. Youth in Africa’s Labour Market. Washington DC: World Bank, 2008
BBC World Service “Young and Jobless”
The Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment calls on global leaders to raise youth employment and economic opportunity to the highest policy priority level. To this end, the Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment is committed to advancing youth employment solutions along three dimensions:
Scalable innovations to secure employment and encourage entrepreneurship
The “Ten Youth” Mentoring and Apprenticeship Initiative will work with companies to encourage them to invest in “M&A” (Mentoring and Apprenticeship) support, provide knowledge and develop tools for companies to implement. Building on the success of its first pilots in the United States and Nigeria, Youth Trade will model methods for connecting young entrepreneurs with new markets for their products in additional countries.
National youth employment strategies
Few countries have yet put forward comprehensive national youth employment strategies that include a vision shared by government, business, academia, and civil society, with clear metrics for success, and supported by resources that will tangibly increase youth employment. The Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment is committed to encouraging and developing such collaborative national strategies, starting in Cambodia and with additional countries in Asia and Africa to be added over the coming year.
Global campaign – an EYE opener
The Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment is launching the Eye on Youth Employment (EYE) campaign to raise awareness of the youth unemployment challenge to the mainstream, distilling data into an easily digestible form. The campaign will bring policy recommendations and proven solutions to the attention of business, government and civil society leaders in a more focused and actionable fashion, and to stimulate concerted action to address this fundamental issue.
Research Analyst: Marc Caverzasio, Global Agenda Councils, Marc.Caverzasio@weforum.org
Council Manager: Tanya Millberg, Associate Director, Europe and North America, Tanya.Millberg@weforum.org
Forum Lead: Martina Gmür, Senior Director, Head of the Network of Global Agenda Councils, email@example.com
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