OECD Forum 2012: Youth

 

 

Youth

 

Globally, 75 million young people don’t have a job. Over 17% of the under-25s in OECD countries are without a job, compared with 7% of over-25s.

 

 

Young people face significant barriers to finding decent employment, as the labour market has become volatile, more demanding and less accessible to newcomers. A bitter irony: it is the best educated generation ever - and the most pessimistic in terms of employment perspectives.

 

How can a “lost generation” of young unemployed be avoided? What strategies are needed to bring young people hope and new perspectives?

 

Finding solutions involves reviewing all options, starting from education and training programmes, to strengthening apprenticeships and other vocational training programmes, to job-search counselling, and to reforms in social, employment, educational and other policies. Youth entrepreneurship is barely considered by young people as an option for earning income and fulfilling one's potential. In fact, one of the main concerns of young people is to “risk it all” by becoming entrepreneurs. Young people need access to business advice, mentoring and finance, and most importantly the integration of entrepreneurship skills in school curricula from an early age to ensure that this is a viable alternative.

 

What public policies and private sector initiatives have proved effective? Are there any other policies that need to be considered? How can innovative and effective ways be found to create more opportunities for young people in the labour market?