The world is facing a worsening youth employment crisis: young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and over 75 million youth worldwide are looking for work. The ILO has warned of a “scarred” generation of young workers facing a dangerous mix of high unemployment, increased inactivity and precarious work in developed countries, as well as persistently high working poverty in the developing world.
The ILO’s programme on youth employment operates through a global network of technical teams at its headquarters in Geneva and in more than 60 offices around the world. It provides assistance to countries in developing coherent and coordinated interventions on youth employment. This integrated approach combines macro-economic policies and targeted measures which address labour demand and supply, as well as the quantity and quality of employment.
Young people are twice or three times as probable to be unemployed as adults, because they are not preferred by employers and are the first victims of business cycles.
The world faces a “huge challenge” to bring the offer from universities, from colleges, in line with the needs of the private sectors in business. Young people “are in a kind of Catch-22 situation, they don’t have work experience therefore employers don’t use them, don’t prefer them. They are kind of in a vicious circle.” Another trap is the business cycle, they are the first ones to be fired and last ones to be hired.
A mismatch between skills and the needs of companies in terms of workforce is one of the main reasons for the disparity.