Working is something that all of us eventually have to do, as it is a vital part of not only sustaining ourselves and our lives but as well the economy. Look at your friends – most of them are probably students, working hard to get their degree. How many of them have a part time job, to pay for rent or for food? I assume most of them do. Some people are fortunate to have the support of their families financially, so they can focus solely on their studies or current endeavours, but what you don’t realise is that the fortunate one’s are also the young people who are working!
According to the International Labor Organisation (ILO) the global youth unemployment rate in 2015 was 13.1% which was three times the adult unemployment rate. Currently, the rate has risen to 13.2%, which shows a small increase, but also makes it clear that the rate is not declining, and is expected to stagnate until 2019.
Still in the last years, progress has been made. The number of unemployed youth has declined from 76.6 million at the peak of the crisis in 2009 to an estimated 73.3 million in 2014. But who is even working on lowering this percentage? Well, there are many people but in recent years, one foundation has really stepped it up.
In 2014 the Citi Foundation launched a program called Pathways to Progress, with a 50.000 million dollars contribution that helped over 100.000 young people across 10 U.S. cities. According to their website the program “aims to reduce youth unemployment in cities through first jobs, internships, business training and leadership development Addresses findings of a new global study showing youth optimism is high but opportunities and skills are lacking.”
On 22 February 2017 the foundation announced a global expansion of the project, investing another 100 million dollars to help 500.000 young people across the globe to training and jobs over the next three years. With incredible efforts like these, global youth unemployment is sure to fall in the upcoming years.
Opportunities exist out there for young people, it is our responsibility to not only search for them but also help our fellow people find them. With our mutual efforts, the rate will decrease drastically in no time. As Jack Kemp said “Economic growth doesn’t mean anything if it leaves people out.” We have to ensure that opportunities like these become available to all 1.8 billion young people in the world and that we can all prosper together.