These were the main issues discussed:
• The majority of participants were either unemployed, still completing their education, doing unpaid or part-time work, completing short-term contracts or “small jobs,” or engaged in several of these activities at one time. For example, Alejandro, 25, from Mexico works as a university teacher and is guaranteed a certain number of hours per week, which conforms with all Mexican labour laws. He is using this opportunity to get his Master’s degree to help further his goal – which is to work in the Mexican Foreign Service.
• Many participants indicated that they did lack job benefits, such as insurance, and experience underemployment, holding jobs that did not match their qualifications. Hamadullah, 24, from Pakistan told us that he is employed but his job is insecure, because he “may be called off anytime.” In addition, he believes that he is not making full use of his skills and qualifications, and that most young people in Pakistan work without signing any contract with their employers!
• Due to unemployment and lack of work experience, some young people are either participating in internship programmes or are volunteering.
• There was a general consensus that, through ambition, perseverance and gaining experience, one’s true career path will eventually be recognized later in life.