The youth population is growing but the jobs are not being created at the same pace. Economic growth rates have declined, leading to a lack of employment opportunities sought by a rapidly expanding labour force in the MENA region. Investing in youth employment requires a collaborative approach to prioritizing job creation while helping youth to overcome specific disadvantages, such as skills mismatch and discrimination.
Youth employment interventions should not only focus on job creation but also ensure the quality of jobs. Interventions should consider the participation of women and young girls, addressing NEET (not in education, employment and training) targets and needs of young people in both rural and urban areas. Decent jobs for youth are also essential to realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Technical support to entrepreneurs through coaching and mentoring and coordination with government and the private sector can help finance start-ups and create new jobs. Inspiring Youth is key to achieving their goals of becoming entrepreneurs to help them adapt their skills to the changing demand. This can be very different from the formal education that is gradually becoming irrelevant for the job market. E-learning platforms can play a key role in facilitating a higher level of training and matching jobs for new skills.
The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector has the potential to create jobs and employ women and young people. Demand for self-employment is growing due to loss in jobs in both formal and informal labour markets. Jobs have reduced due to lockdowns and closure of businesses during the pandemic. Young people have few choices other than to start their own business or enterprise.
Policy & Advocacy
We work with people living in poverty to support and strengthen their ability to demand and defend their rights. Based on our work in the field, we build evidence-based advocacy campaigns and initiatives. Youth participation is crucial element in designing and implementing effective influencing strategies.