This chapter analyses the status of young people and their labour market prospects. It stresses that despite we are currently living in an era characterised by the largest cohort of young people, they face formidable challenges in entering the labour market. Labour market conditions for youth were already negative at the beginning of the millennium but worsened considerably following the global financial crisis. This resulted in record high unemployment and NEET (not in education, employment or training) rates in advanced economies and in high levels of informality and vulnerability in developing countries. Particularly worrying is the condition of young women which do not participate to the labour market or are forced in domestic work and deprived of the chance of being educated. Despite these difficulties labour market prospects of young people throughout the world are brightened by several examples and good practices that show how these challenges can be overcome. The rst case study «Salt of Earth for Dignity Through Solidarity - Youth Empowerment and Self-nancing in Haiti» by S. Prenger (page 99) shows the the Young Christian Worker’s movement’s purpose to enable young people, otherwise unemployed, to take part in the production of salt in a commune in Haiti. By working closely together for a common objective, those young workers understand the importance of working in solidarity as well as they develop “team spirit” and entrepreneurship. The following case study “Entrepreneurs and Youth Employment in Rwanda” by M. Wanjiru (page 105) provides an important example of good practices in troubled countries in promoting vocation and technical education aimed at providing the right technical skills for young workers. The education part is crucially complemented by a financial part that gives young people a start-up capital to initiate income-generating activities and through solidarity improve the well-being of the society and the general level of education. Promoting entrepreneurship is also at the basis of the projects of the Laboratory for Social and Economic Innovation in Mexico, as discussed in “Work for Peace in Young Mexico” by J. M. Martinez Louvier (page 111). This Laboratory aims at promoting social owned enterprises where capital is not the main objective but the resolution of human needs. Through these enterprises young Mexicans are dignified by a job that pays an adequate salary and are less likely to be caught up in violence and criminal activities. Similarly the Green Life Evolution Project in Zambia as reported in the homonymous paper by Rev. Fr. J. Komakoma (page 115) conjugates entrepreneurship development with environmental sustainability. By teaching young men and women how to grow seedlings of various trees which are then sold, the project improves people’s income while contributing to a healthier environment. Finally, it is worth mentioning the National Domestic Workers Mouvement (NDWM) discussed in “How to Empower Young Indian Domestic Workers” by Sr. J. Devos (page 119). Thanks to their precious work over these years, domestic work in India now represents a dignied employment for thousands of young women. Cooperation through these movements increases women self-awareness and empowerment enabling girls and young women to receive through education information on their rights. This improves not only young women conditions but contributes to the improvement of the work and family environment.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteRethinking Labour
Numero di pagine27
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018


  • Youth unemployment


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