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Middle East and North Africa: Tackling the world’s highest youth unemployment |

Joint release of the UN labor agency, ILOUnited Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was released before two day meeting in Amman, Jordan, to address the transition of youth from school to work, a key priority for teenagers and young adults in a vast predominantly Arabic-speaking region.

Sharing best practices

Regional high-level meeting on Training, skills, inclusiveness and work of young people, takes place over two days, bringing together government officials from key sectors, the private sector and the UN, in dialogue with young people themselves to ensure best practices are shared.

“Existing education systems and curricula do not fit the developing labor market and the changing nature of work. They don’t give young people the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy.” statement said.

Many young people lack skills such as communication, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration.

According to the agencies,healthy, skilled, educated adolescents and youth can drive positive change to a world that is right for them, that promotes and protects their rights.”

Inequality and vulnerable contexts

Young people still face many challenges in the region, especially those who live in poverty or in rural areas; refugees, displaced persons, migrants, girls and young women; and people with disabilities; who most likely won’t go to school and are left behind.

According to the UN, up to COVID-19 pandemic, the region already has more than 14 million children out of school, one of the lowest rates of return to education in the world. In addition, the pandemic has exacerbated the education crisis and exacerbated existing inequalities.

Unemployment is holding back potential

Youth unemployment in these countries is almost twice the global average and grew 2.5 times faster than the global average between 2010 and 2021.

These figures represent a significant drain on the region’s economic potential. Lower the overall unemployment rate to 5 percent and be able to accommodate large numbers of young people entering the labor force and stabilize youth unemployment, By 2030, the region needs to create more than 33.3 million new jobs.

Globally, the global labor market recovery is also reversing, the ILO said on Monday, blaming COVID and “other multiple crises” for exacerbating inequalities within and between countries.

According to his latest World of Work Report, there are 112 million fewer full-time jobs today than before the pandemic.

Expected results

The regional meeting aims to consider means of strengthening links between training and the labor market.

These include improving education systems, including skills development, technical and vocational education and training, strengthening links between education and the labor market; improving policy and exploring opportunities for the private sector to create jobs and support youth entrepreneurship.

“Young people need life skills training to help them learn and nurture positive values ​​about their health, rights, family, relationships, gender roles and equality, and empower them to shape their lives and make informed decisions about their reproductive lives.” , the agencies said. .

The event will present recommendations from the Arab States/Middle East and North Africa region for the upcoming UN Secretary-General’s Global Summit on Transforming Education in September 2022


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