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ILO says 40% of world’s youth face unemployment or poverty

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Youth UnemploymentThe International Labour Organisation (ILO) has launched The Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth to tackle global youth unemployment by generating decent jobs for the youth and assisting their transition from school to work.

Guy Ryder, the Director General of the ILO who launched the initiative at the United Nation’s annual Youth Forum, said about 40 per cent of youth are either unemployed or in jobs that don’t pay enough to escape poverty.

“Today, two out of every five young persons of working age are either unemployed or working jobs that don’t pay enough to escape poverty. The trap of working poverty affects as many as 169 million youth”, the Director General was quoted as saying.

The ILO said that “in consultation with governments, the initiative will coordinate employment and economic policies for job growth and social inclusion and protect labour rights to ensure that young people receive equal treatment.”

Guy Ryder said the initiative is a unique partnership between governments, the UN, businesses, academic institutions, youth organizations and other groups to scale-up the creation of new opportunities and avenues for quality employment in the global economy and to assist young people in developing the skills needed to compete in today’s job market.

The Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth will make full use of the expertise of participating UN entities and other partners by focusing on “green jobs” for youth, quality apprenticeships, digital skills and the building of “tech-hubs”; supporting young people in the rural economy, facilitating transition from the informal to the formal economy and promoting youth entrepreneurship.

According to information from the ILO, the initiative has been endorsed by the United Nation’s Chief Executives Board for Coordination which comprises the 29 heads of all UN entities.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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