While many economies are recovering from the global recession, there are still 600 million jobs needed to be created over the next decade to maintain today's employment rates. Eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity for the bottom 40 percent of the population by 2030 requires that we engage more effectively to bring hundreds of millions of people into productive work and out of poverty.
While many initiatives on youth employment have been undertaken over the past few years, there is still limited knowledge about the best way to design, implement and coordinate these interventions, and how to link them to broader reforms that promote private investment and business creation and/or expansion. At the same time, the limited knowledge that we do have does not take into account the significant heterogeneity of constraints across settings and different youth populations, and few programs are designed to take into account these differences in context and needs.
At the Solutions4Work Conference held in Istanbul, Turkey, more than 170 participants from academia, business leaders and government ministers gathered together to discuss solutions for youth employment and forge additional public-private partnerships that can help expand markets and increase job growth. The forum provided an opportunity to link, learn and leverage knowledge from key stakeholders. Bill Reese who is the President and CEO of International Youth Foundation put it aptly, “unless we build on our successes to make smarter investments in proven youth employment efforts and engage more broadly to bring hundreds of millions of young women and men into productive work, we risk losing not only this younger generation but also the next.”
A group of stakeholders, including the International Youth Foundation, the World Bank, Youth Business International, Accenture, Plan International, and RAND Corporation, is working together to find ways to ensure that actors from public, private, and non-governmental sectors can collaborate to find solutions for the youth employment challenge around the world. We spoke to some of the key stakeholders at the conference and here’s what they have to say: