The youth employment opportunity
Understanding labour market policies
More than 70 million young people are unemployed1. 262 million youth are not in employment, education or training (NEETS) across developing countries2 and one in five young people aged 15-24 have been out of work for more than 12 months, across OECD countries3.
High youth unemployment hampers economic growth and negatively impacts the health and well-being of young people, and their opportunity to lead productive and rewarding lives. It also has long term financial implications like funding retiree pensions and health care, which may be even more challenging than otherwise. How can we make a bigger impact to address this challenge?
Governments, business, and civil society are actively taking steps to address youth unemployment but it is clear that some policies work better than others. But which ones and why? This report collates the perspectives of national employer organizations in an effort to provide a more comparative and global picture of what is being implemented across countries. It is a joint initiative of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), Business and Industry Advisory Committee to OECD (BIAC), and Deloitte Global.
There are four main challenges to hiring and retaining young people.
- appropriate training, job readiness, and skills;
- availability of job opportunities and entrepreneurial enterprises;
- employment costs and reduction in subsidies for employers; and
- youth expectations including, in some countries, the prospect of better opportunities overseas
Across all policy levers a variety of approaches are being taken with varied degrees of success. There is a sustained need to further analyse the programs in order to fully understand their success (or lack hereof). It is clear though, that in some countries like Australia and the US, the decentralised nature of policy development and implementation is creating unique challenges.
1ILO, Youth Employment
3OECD work on youth