UN World Youth Report

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Conclusions

Some key themes that emerged from week III’s discussion on looking for jobs were:

The experiences of several participants illustrated what recent research has shown: thatmore young people around the world are in a situation of working poverty, rather than are out of a job and looking for work. However, the majority of participants on the e-discussion platform understood “working poverty” in a broader sense (than the International Labor Organization definition). For young people such as Jimmy from Zimbabwe, for example, “Youth are …facing working poverty because they are involved in jobs which are not in line with what they are qualified for.”

Indeed,a thoughtful comment regarding the pressures of being “a youth” was posted by Akampa: “Youth are a vast resource but are often treated as a constituency that needs to be managed, instead of engaged and supported to play an influential role in their respective countries to develop the globe.” This theme of youth as potential threats will be picked up in the following chapter.

In order to tackle the pressures of unemployment and lack of work experience, many young people, such as Ayshah, 26, from Kenya and Fortune from Nigeria,are seeking internship or volunteering opportunities in order to develop their workplace skills. This echoes the voices we heard during week II on the platform. It also suggests that, not only are internships and volunteering opportunities being used as part of a young person’s educational development, but also as a mechanism for direct job searching and networking.

There was however, no overall consensus as to whether globalization (as represented by such factors as use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) or working abroad, etc.) is, in general, positive or negative.However, there was a general consensus that through ambition, perseverance and gaining experience, many youth will eventually reach their career aspirations.

Farhana, with Relations in Motion in Bangladesh, posted this inspirational comment on the International Year of YouthFacebook page:

“Let's change the world by innovative ideas along with YOUTH POWER. Focus on Quality, not quantity. Think of Construction, not destruction. Work with Motivation, not depression. Search Originality, not piracy. Unite for Unity, not partiality. Finally, go for Creativity and remove disparity. That's our Motto. Join us and develop YOURSELF.”

Additional resources:

International Labour Organization, Youth Employment Programme (YEP)

International Labour Organization and United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Ramdoss, Santhosh, Ashleigh Mullinax and Lara Storm (2011). Financial inclusion of youth – reaching the next generation. Screencast of presentation to the United States Agency for International Development Microenterprise Development Office’s After Hours Seminar, No. 55. Washington, D.C., 1 September

Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs (2008). Market Assessment Toolkit for Vocational Training Providers and Youth: linking vocational training programmes to market opportunities. New York: Women’s Commission for Refugees and Children

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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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