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PRESS RELEASE April 11, 2019

Over 18,500 Youth in PNG see Increasing Opportunities through Urban Youth Employment Project

New report shows increase in employment and perceived reductions in crime in project areas

PORT MORESBY, April 11, 2019 - A new report into the Urban Youth Employment Project (UYEP) has found that participation in the program significantly increases the employment rates for both young men and women in Port Moresby and is benefiting the welfare and prospects of participants and the communities where they live.

Since it began in 2010, UYEP has provided more than 18,500 unemployed urban young people (aged between 16 and 35 years) with income, training and temporary employment opportunities aimed at increasing their employability, 41 percent of them young women. The project is jointly funded by the World Bank, the Australian Government (DFAT) and the Government of Papua New Guinea through the National Capital District Commission with support from the Republic of Korea, Exxon Mobil and Bank of South Pacific.

The recent report indicates the program has boosted the employment rates of both young men and women in Port Moresby:

  • Nearly half (41 percent) of the participants who completed the On-the-Job Training reported that they had secured full-time or part-time work in the six months following their participation,
  • Employers reported that 97 percent of UYEP participants were qualified for full time work,
  • And communities have seen flow on benefits with 85 percent of community members in project locations believing crime and violence has reduced because of the project.

“Youth unemployment is an increasingly pressing social and economic concern in PNG, more than half the population is under 24 years of age and job opportunities are not growing fast enough to accommodate them.  Considering the report shows that none of the UYEP participants were employed six months prior to participating in the program, the rate at which they have secured employment represents a remarkable success for the project,” said Patricia Veevers-Carter, the World Bank’s Country Manager for PNG.

The report indicates the majority (80 percent) of participants believe the project empowered them to become better members of their communities, boosting their self-confidence and optimism. While more than two-thirds of participants reported having friends involved in fights or robbery in the months prior to their participation, this decreased to less than a quarter (23 percent) following the program.

“For many young people, participation in UYEP represents a huge milestone in their professional and personal development; it marks their first job experience, their first pay check, their first bank account, and it increases their skills and chances of securing a more permanent job,” said the Hon. Charles Abel, MP, Papua New Guinea’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Treasury.

UYEP is now the Government of PNG’s most significant public intervention to address the issue of unemployed youth in the country. The Government is currently preparing a second phase expansion of the UYEP to Lae City, the industrial hub of the country to commence mid this year.

Expanding productive opportunities for young people remains a priority for the Government of PNG and World Bank in PNG. The aim is to ensure youth are given the training and the opportunities to contribute to their communities and to society, and to shape their own futures, with confidence and happiness.



Port Moresby
Lydia Kaia
+675 321 7111
Tom Perry
+61 404 460 330