Creating youth employment in Asia

Creating youth employment in Asia

Several countries in the Asia-Pacific region are experiencing demographic changes. Over 60 per cent of the world's youth live in Asia and the Pacific, which translates into more than 750 million young women and men aged 15 to 24 years. They represent a key asset for the countries of this region. Young people are a major human resource for development, key agents for social change and driving force for economic development and technological innovation. But harnessing these resources is a major challenge. The youth challenge is considered as the most critical of the 21st century's economic development challenge.

In this context, this paper examines the labour market characteristics for adults and the entire population. Then it analyses challenges and opportunities in labour market for youth. Next, the paper discusses the existing and needed policies for taking care of the challenges in overall and youth labour markets. It also provides conclusions and recommendations. It highlights the gender issues in the paper.

The recommendations include direct policies such as active labour market policies, social protection programmes, fair migration and indirect policies like pro employment macro policies. There are significant links between creating employment opportunities for the youth and enhancement of human development. Employment and livelihoods particularly productive youth employment has impact on most of the indicators of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They can reduce poverty, under nutrition, improve the education, health and gender equality.

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