UN World Youth Report


Still searching: a globalized world doesn’t necessarily mean more opportunities for growth

During the week of 25 to 31 October, week III, the e-discussion platform was open to all to discuss the topic of “looking for a job.” The e-discussion invited the views of young people aged 15 to 30 , as well as representatives of youth-led organizations. More than 310 comments were posted on the e-discussion platform by young women and men aged 16 to 30 from all corners of the world, including Nigeria, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

In addition to the e-discussion site, there were also postings and uploads onto the United Nations International Year of Youth Facebook page, and a live question and answer Twitter session with United Nations Youth Champion Monique Coleman.

The views conveyed throughout this chapter focus on young people’s entry into the labour market. Almost all of the participants shared both positive and negative experiences of job searching. Indeed, there was 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, favorable or not. What was made clearwas that many educated young people around the globe are, as recently stated by the International Labour Organization, in “working poverty.”Whereas the technical definition of being in “working poverty” is working while in a family household that lives below the poverty line (US$1.25 a day per person), several of the participants viewed it in a broader sense: as being underemployed and/or in jobs that they don’t see as having long-term prospects. Jimmy from Zambia, for example, replied that his understanding of working poverty relates to:

“…an increase in corruption and nepotism. As a result, youths cannot get jobs easily, especially through the formal channels. Youth are therefore facing working poverty because they are involved in jobs which are not in line with what they are qualified for. In addition, they are often exploited through internships which are not well remunerated.”

Despite this, many of the participants remained hopeful. As Nduta, a student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, exclaimed: the secret to getting that dream job is to “start small and grow, learn and acquire skills as you progress.” We now turn to some of the most perceptive comments shared.


Read 22012 times Last modified on Monday, 06 February 2012 09:51
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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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