UN World Youth Report


In your country, what kinds of resources and services are available to support you and other young people in achieving your career aspirations?

What young people say:

On the upside…

Several of the participants from around the world acknowledged that their schools offered career guidance aimed at orienting students for the labour market, such as information on scholarships, trainings, internships and apprenticeships.

Participants from India and Martinique cited the existence of educational fairs for students in their countries, whereby both schools/universities and the private sector (local businesses) shared information about opportunities and possible career paths available to young people. Some schools provide seminars and career guidance aimed at orienting students to the labour market, offering options for further scholarships, trainings, internships and apprenticeships.

Several participants noted that their country had dedicated programmes for youth employment, such as the Plurinational State of Bolivia’s “Programa Mi Primer Empleo Digno” (or Decent Employment Programme), and the National Employment Fund in Cameroon. Yet no one in this discussion appeared to have any direct involvement in these programmes.

Many young participants were also interested in future employment opportunities within the United Nations. Hira, 23, with Y-Peer in Pakistan remarked that there were several opportunities, such as the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Online Volunteering service, and that for her, getting country experience was important: “that was when the doors opened for me!”

On the downside…

Schools do provide support for students in the form of advisers/career guidance, but most participants shared the view that this is not enough. In addition, these support services are not available in every school.

Even when resources and services exist, the lack of information about them prevents students from accessing them. These resources are also often only available for people who live in urban areas and/or come from wealthy families. Yanira, 29, from Colima, México told us that:

“According to a study of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Mexico ranks third with regard to the number of young people between 15 and 29 who neither work nor study. One root cause is that in my country there are large scholarship programmes from entry level to professional graduate/doctoral levels… I think it is very important to raise awareness and generate a host of actions for the benefit of all young people.”

Final insights…

There were some interesting country examples of national youth employment funds…

most notably, reported by Jose from the Dominican Republic. He commented on the strengths of the Institute of Professional Technical Formation (INFOTEP), which encourages and builds professional skills among students. In addition, the Dominican Republic also has a Youth and Employment Programme (“Juventud y Empleo”) funded by the “Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo” and the World Bank. Similarly, Cameroon has a National Employment Fund and Integrated Support Project for Informal Sectors (PIAASI).


Read 18727 times Last modified on Monday, 06 February 2012 22:59
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The UN Focal Point on Youth aims to build awareness of the global situation of young people, as well as promote their rights and aspirations, working toward greater participation of young people in decision-making as a means for achieving peace and development.

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