Sharing MDG-F successes in youth employment


Youth unemployment is one of today’s greatest global challenges: 76 million youth worldwide can’t find jobs. In search of work, many young people migrate in risky conditions; many others are forced to drop out of school to support their families, further limiting their options.

But young people in Peru are getting a leg-up through a new initiative that speeds the process for obtaining a work permit. And thousands of Serbian youth are hitting the job market with new work and entrepreneurial training. The MDG Achievement Fund shared its experiences of these and other youth employment and migration initiatives at a special February 8th UN event, hosted by the government of Spain.

The forum, “Addressing Youth, Employment and Migration Issues through Joint Programming”, looked at ways to increase young people’s access to decent work, self-employment and entrepreneurship opportunities while respecting their fundamental rights both as workers and migrants.

Job training and migrant protection

Tens of thousands of youth around the world have benefitted from the 15 youth employment and migration Joint Programmes funded by the MDG-Fund in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Arab States and the Americas. In Peru, the MDG-F-backed programme is trying to breaking down barriers that keep young people out of the job market. The CERTIjoven initiative provides youth with a single certification -- obtained in just 20 minutes -- that they need to apply for work.

In Serbia, where almost half of all young people are unemployed, more than 2,600 youth received MDG-F-funded on-the-job or self-employment training, or took part in work-placement schemes.

Educational subsidies provided by the MDG-Fund have reduced the school dropout rate in the Philippines, where lack of opportunity forces many young people to migrate in search of jobs. In China, the MDG-F is working to protect the rights and improve the lives of the country’s 150 million migrants, many of them vulnerable youth. Its programme there offers young migrants life skills training in the workplace taught by peer educators, tutoring for migrants’ children by university volunteers, and special life skills classes for rural students that will help them migrate safely, including tips on life in the city, employment, health, family and relationships.

And in Tunisia, young entrepreneurs who have used MDG-F training to start their own businesses are spreading the benefits to their fellow-youth. Najet Salem not only opened her own carpet business, but employed 20 other young Tunisians in the process.

Towards full and productive employment

The Youth, Employment and Migration programmes of the MDG-Fund help create decent jobs by increasing access to quality education and training, matching youth with concrete jobs placements in the market, and by directly supporting youth entrepreneurship and self-employment.

These efforts are part of the MDG-Fund’s work to help governments reach the MDG target of achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people.

“Addressing Youth, Employment and Migration Issues through Joint Programming” was a side event to the Fifty-First Session of the Commission for Social Development at the United Nations.











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