The world population stands over 7.1 billion, where 1.2 billion youth aged 15-25 live primarily in developing countries and make up 40% of the worlds’ unemployed. A recent World Bank study reveals that in the next 15 years, the global economy needs to create 600 million new jobs to keep up with the world’s demanding population growth. Failure to address the youth employment could therefore cripple a country’s economic growth and exacerbate chronic employment and poverty.
Consequently, as they provide the "enabling environment’" for youth to thrive. Governments operate as a nexus between policy and practice, and addressing the socio-economic problems impacting youth, such as unemployment and barriers to political participation is essential for youth progress and development.
In the recent World Development Report, discussions focused around the need to form national comprehensive policy frameworks. Currently, only 35 countries have adopted action plans and . While this is a start, chronic youth employment should be given priority in the 138 countries where the unemployment rate is rising.
Governments have the ability to implement national youth employment strategies to demonstrate a shared vision, clear objectives and metrics for success that can significantly and tangibly increase youth employment. Governments also have the capacity to address youth unemployment by motivating the training of young people; encourage job creation; support young entrepreneurs with proper skills and networks to be employable. Governments can further engage private businesses to train young entrepreneur’s skills in growing industry sectors by incentivizing private business tax breaks or matching grants. Beyond government incentives, private businesses may also enhance its’ own corporate social responsibilities within the youth community.
The World Bank is providing a space to discuss these issues and more at the upcoming Youth Summit, which will be held Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C.