Today, young people make up 36% of the population in Cambodia and will soon join the labour market if they have not already done so. Although this youth bulge can be a powerful engine for economic growth, about 15% of young people still have an education below primary level and thus face problems finding decent work in the labour market, with most of them taking low-paid and unskilled job. This issue of school dropout was one of the key topics discussed during the one-day workshop co-organised by OECD Development Centre and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.
The objective of the workshop was to discuss the results of the Youth Inclusion Project with the government and national stakeholders working on youth issues, including UN agencies and youth organisations. The project team presented a full diagnosis of the youth situation in the areas of health, education, employment and civic participation and the determinants of youth vulnerabilities. Results from the study on the effect of school dropout on employment outcomes generated a lengthy debate on the quality of education in Cambodia and the lack of decent work opportunities for youth.
The project team introduced a comprehensive dashboard of youth indicators on health, education, employment, and empowerment and participation which aims to capture the various dimensions of youth well-being. In conclusion, participants discussed implications for the youth agenda. The workshop provided a unique opportunity to get valuable feedback on the project’s work from experts and key national stakeholders, as well as to engage the Cambodian government on youth-related issues. Through the set-up of such national workshops, the project aims to promote evidence-based dialogue on youth inclusion to identify and design relevant and inclusive policy responses in each partner country.
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