ILO presents options to find jobs for 73-M unemployed youth

THE green, digital, and care economies could help provide new employment opportunities to 73 million youths, who remain jobless amid the pandemic, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO). 

In its latest Global Employment Trends for Youth 2022: Investing in transforming futures for young people report, the labor arm of the United Nations said investing in the said sectors will help raise global GDP by 4.2 percent and provide employment to 139 million individuals by 2030.

“Of which 32 million would be accounted for by young people,” ILO said in a statement. 

With proper government policies in place in the next 8 years, green and blue industries, which are involved in protecting the environment and sustainable use of natural resources, are expected to generate 8.4 million jobs for the youth. 

ILO also projected that youth workers will get 24 million jobs from the digital economy and 17.9 million employment opportunities in the health and education sector in the said period. 

“Investment in these sectors must be accompanied by the promotion of decent working conditions for all young workers, the ILO study said. 

Job-ready applicants 

In a virtual news conference, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy Martha Newton, the author of the new report, said the creation of the said vacancies would be crucial to bring down the high global youth unemployment. 

Currently, she said the number of unemployed youth worldwide is still 6 million above the pre- pandemic level of 67 million in 2019.

What is even more concerning, she said, is the share of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) in the total number of global young workers based on ILO’s latest available data. 

“Almost one in four [young] people have NEET status,” she said.  

“This really raised the spectre of widespread labor scarring of young people caught up in the crisis with the threat to long-term damage to their employment and education and earning prospects,” she added.  

Newton said governments should have “active labor and skills development” policies to ensure the youth will meet the criteria for key employment generating industries in the coming years.

“Moving towards decent work in the digital and green economies calls for broader-based strategies including digital literacy and the promotion and acquisition of appropriate technological and digital skills of young people so that they’ll be ready and well prepared for the new opportunities that can be created,” Newton said.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes