More than 200 young change-makers from 65 countries have called for systematic changes in youth employment policies, noting that business as usual is not working for youth.
They issued the recommendations at the end of the three-day International Labour Organisation (ILO) Global Youth Employment Forum, graced by the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, in Abuja.
The proposals will inform implementation of the ILO Call for Action on Youth Employment, until 2030.
In a communiqué after the event, the young delegates called for macro-economic and sectoral policies that target employment, rather than just economic growth, and build resilience to climate change.
They also stressed the need for greater investment in access to quality education and skills development systems. This should be complemented by tailored approaches to lifelong learning and skills certification, which utilise technology and protect the rights of those in internships and apprenticeship schemes.
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According to the participants, labour market policies should place more emphasis on job quality and targeting, so that the benefits reach young women, young people with disabilities, young migrants and refugees, young platform economy and informal sector workers, youth in the rural economy and in hazardous occupations, and those from indigenous and ethnic groups.
In addition, delegates called for gender equality and greater protection for youth labour rights and related issues, such as the right to time sovereignty, data privacy, Internet access and the right to disconnect.
Speaking at the event, Ryder stressed the important role that young women and men play in identifying solutions and fostering collaboration across sectors and continents.
He reaffirmed the ILO’s commitment to working with and for youths, urging all stakeholders to build a future that meets young people’s aims and aspirations.
During the event, Ryder launched the Knowledge Facility of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, a digital platform of tools, publications, databases and thematic resources to support action on youth employment. The importance of partnerships was also underlined during discussions.
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