The ILO focuses on advancing opportunities for young women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. The ILO has a special role to play in the global response to the current worsening and unprecedented youth employment crisis. Its tripartite constituency together with its global alliances offer the global reach needed to catalyze support and action on youth employment.

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The ILO has warned of a “scarred” generation of young workers facing a dangerous mix of high unemployment, increased inactivity and precarious work in developed countries, as well as persistently high working poverty in the developing world.

At the national level, ILO’s dialogue and alliances with civil society, public and private sectors and youth support the development of youth employment policies and programmes.
At the international level, the ILO’s leading role in the UN Secretary-General’s Youth Employment Network (YEN)- a global partnership of the World Bank, the United Nations and the ILO- provides a major opportunity to build international consensus and influence the international agenda with a comprehensive strategy for the employment and social inclusion of young people.

The ILO’S Programme on Youth Employment Programme (YEP) was established in 2005 to address the global development goal and national challenges of providing young people with decent work opportunities. Through an integrated approach, it provides a wide array of services, including research, promotional activities, policy advice and technical assistance to support ILO constituents (governments, employers and workers organizations). The Programme operates through a global network of technical teams at its headquarters in Geneva and in more than 60 offices around the world, providing assistance to countries in developing coherent and coordinated interventions on youth employment.

ILO’s Programme on Youth Employment (YEP)

ILO’s Programme on Youth Employment includes:

  • Data collection on the nature and dimensions of youth employment, unemployment and under employment;
  • Analysis of the effectiveness of country policies and programmes on youth employment
  • Policy advice to strengthen in-country labour market policies and programmes for youth employment and capacity building for governments and employers and worker organizations;
  • Technical assistance in formulating and implementing national youth employment programmes that focus on employment, intensive investment, skills development, youth entrepreneurship, access to finance and other targeted active labour market measures;
  • Advocacy and awareness-raising activities to promote decent work for youth with a focus on employability, employment and workers’ rights;
  • Establishment of strategic partnerships on youth employment between private and public sectors at the international, sub-regional and national levels;
  • Promotion of cross-country and global peer networks to achieve better performance and share good-practice experiences among ILO constituents and other stakeholders

The Work4Youth Project (W4Y)

The Work4Youth Project is a five-year partnership between the ILO and MasterCard Foundation that aims to promote decent work opportunities for young people facing a worsening jobs crisis marked by high unemployment, working poverty and youth discouragement.
Work4Youth is an example of Public Private Partnership between ILO and MasterCard Foundation who were able to find commonalities in their respective missions in the area of youth employment.
The programme is based on the idea that ILO cannot advise its constituents on how to create jobs for youth until it understands better first what young people want in terms of career paths and quality of work, what employers want in terms of young applicants, what are the blockages that prevent the supply and demand from meeting and what are the policies and programmes that can leave a real impact.
Work4Youth aims to increase the global awareness of the challenges facing young people as they move from education to the world of work. It supports the improvement of youth employment policy making and programme development worldwide.
Work4Youth creates a new research agenda and an innovative labour market information system. Although the project itself does not create jobs for young people, it serves as the intermediary tool with which ILO can work in the area of policy design. A series of communications products and activities are being developed to disseminate youth employment messages to keep the topic high in the national, regional and global development agendas.

The Online Platform “Decent Work for Youth”

In May 2013 the ILO launched an online space for young people from around the world to share experience and ideas on achieving decent work for youth.
The Decent Work for Youth platform follows up on the 2012 ILO Youth Employment Forum, which brought together over 100 young leaders in Geneva to discuss responses to the youth employment crisis.
“With over 73 million unemployed youth globally and millions more either in low quality jobs, or who have given up looking for work altogether, it is clear that solutions urgently need to be found. We believe that young people are part of the solution and this new platform will let their voice, ideas and experience be heard in the youth employment debate”, says Gianni Rosas, head of the ILO Youth Employment Programme.
Users of the interactive site can connect and engage with online debates moderated by young people working on youth employment; share their experiences and ideas of good employment practice and learn more about Decent Work by asking questions directly to ILO experts.
This platform will host monthly debates on different themes and the best contributions will be selected to be included in ILO thematic reports.
The first debate on internships is already underway and can be joined here.
The platform responds to the one of the requests included in the “ILO Call for Action on Youth Employment”, issued in June 2012.

APYouthNet (APYN)

The Asia Pacific Youth Employment Network is the only site dedicated to youth employment in Asia and the Pacific.
This is a space where young people in the Asia Pacific region can access daily news, publications,
networking information, statistics, moderated discussions and talk shows.

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