Global Coalition Launched to Tackle Youth Unemployment

October 8, 2014

Donor community, private sector and civil society join forces to invest in proven solutions to bring young people into productive employment

WASHINGTON, October 8, 2014 – At the World Bank Group Annual Meetings today, key policymakers, corporate and civil society leaders announced the establishment of  Solutions for Youth Employment –a global coalition that acts to address the pervasive challenges of youth employment.

This coalition will for the first time link the relevant actors from different spheres—governments, corporate actors, international organizations, and civil society—to learn, share knowledge, and implement programs based on evidence about what works in addressing youth unemployment, and to leverage this shared understanding through increased investments in more effective and sustainable solutions.

Securing good jobs for youth is a global priority. One billion people will enter the job market over the next decade, and the global economy will need to create five million jobs each month simply to keep employment rates constant,” said Keith Hansen, World Bank Group Global Practices Vice President. “The World Bank Group supports this global initiative because it is essential to achieving our goals to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity for the bottom 40 percent of the population by 2030.”

A number of government, global institution, civil society and private sector leaders are joining together  to affirm their commitment to the cause. They will support solutions that get youth into productive employment, namely through building capabilities in young people, boosting private sector growth and job creation, encouraging entrepreneurship and the development of new firms, and improving information flows.

Developing innovative solutions for youth employment demands collaboration across organizations and sectors,” said Adrian Lajtha, Chief Leadership Officer at Accenture, one of the coalition’s founding partners. “Accenture is committed to convening powerful partnerships, and we look forward to working with the coalition to help young people get jobs and start successful businesses.”

With some 75 million young people in the developing world unemployed and hundreds of millions more underemployed, coalition members agreed that youth employment is one of this century’s most pressing problems. Every year, 20 million young people enter the labor force in Africa and Asia alone. In the Middle East and North Africa, 80 percent of young workers work in the informal sector. One in four young people cannot find work for more than US$1.25 a day. Yet global growth and poverty reduction over the next 15 years will be driven by today’s youth.

We have to give all young people sustainable prospects for their professional life and integrate them into the world of work at an early stage. We can achieve that goal only by a concerted effort. This coalition provides an excellent platform to support solutions for millions of young people at the local level through innovative programs and tailor-made approaches to the targeted youths,” said Susanne Hoffmann, Director-General, European and International Employment and Social Policies, Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Germany. Germany is fully behind this coalition. We call upon governments, commercial enterprises, social partners, and civil society organizations to work together at all levels to integrate young people worldwide into the world of work and bring their expertise into the coalition.

A unique combination of public, private, and civil society founding partners (The World Bank Group, Accenture, International Youth Foundation, Plan International, RAND Corporation and Youth Business International) developed the coalition over the past 18 months. Solutions for Youth Employment aims to meet the 21st century global challenge of youth employment through ambitious but concrete and measurable actions and with a commitment to improve youth employment outcomes by 2030.

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