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ILOJapan Tripartite Regional Meeting on Youth Employment in Asia and the Pacific


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Title: ILOJapan Tripartite Regional Meeting on Youth Employment in Asia and the Pacific

ILO/Japan Tripartite Regional Meeting on Youth
Employment in Asia and the Pacific
  • 27 February - 1 March 2002
  • Bangkok

Creating Employment
  • Elizabeth Morris
  • Labour Market and Human Resources Policies
  • ILO East Asia Multidisciplinary Advisory Team
  • Bangkok

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Decent work in Asia
  • 3 Employment challenge
  • 4 Employment promotion
  • 5 ILOs Comprehensive Employment Framework

  • 6 ILO Resolution Concerning Youth Employment,
    86th Session, June 1999
  • 7 National youth policies
  • 8 Including youth employment in overall

  • 9 Recommendations of the High- level Panel for
    the Youth Employment Network
  • 10 Conclusions

1. Introduction

  • According to recommendations of the High-level
    Panel for the Youth Employment Network
  • Employability, equal opportunities and
    entrepreneurship, to be most effective, require
    an enabling environment where employment creation
    is placed at the centre of macroeconomic and
    other public policies.

  • Employability requires not just appropriate
    skills and training but also public policies
    which lead to new employment opportunities where
    these skills can be used.

  • Investing in youth requires not just better
    skilled youth, but a commitment by public and
    private sector partners to keep job creation a
    central concern of their investment strategies.

  • Equality should follow a high road leading to
    increased opportunities for both women and men.

  • Entrepreneruship should be supported not only
    through structural measures but also through
    growth-oriented macroeconomic policies so that
    enterprises can sustain themselves.

  • Creating employment is a high priority for young
    people. For the ILO the most effective way to
    promote sustainable livelihoods and poverty
    reduction is through decent work. Employment
    promotion must be an integral part of the
    development agenda.

2. Decent work in Asia

  • Thirteenth Asian Regional Meeting
  • Delegates of the Thirteenth Asian Regional
    Meeting of the ILO in August 2001 stressed that
    employment promotion is essential for decent work
    and poverty reduction.

  • They called upon the ILO to assist national
    constituents in developing employment frameworks
    for the Decent Work Agenda.

  • Delegates pointed to the importance of
    establishing development plans to alleviate
    unemployment and the need for a policy framework
    favourable to growth including a conducive
    environment for raising productivity and
    increasing competitiveness of enterprises.

  • They called for better cooperation among
    government agencies and social partners in
    providing a high priority to employment issues in
    the policy agenda.

  • Delegates noted the significant increase in
    flexible work arrangements - subcontracting,
    casual, fixed-term, part-time, temporary and
    home-based work.

  • All of these apply to employment challenges
    facing young women and young men in the Asia and
    Pacific region.

3. Employment challenge
  • During the past few years the global economy has
    created 40 million new jobs a year compared to 48
    million new job seekers.
  • Out of the 40 million new jobs as many as 10
    million are working poor or underemployed workers.

  • In developing countries the unemployment rate is
    an inadequate measure of employment conditions.
    People cannot afford to be without work.

  • In Asia unemployed workers as a percentage of
    the labour force are 4.7 per cent while the
    working poor as a percentage of the labour force
    are 19.2 per cent. Together they account for
    23.9 per cent of the labour force.

  • According to ILO estimates 66 million young
    people are unemployed throughout the world. This
    represents 41 per cent of the global total of 160
    million unemployed.
  • During the next ten years it is expected that
    there will be 460 million new, young jobseekers
    most of them in developing regions and two-thirds
    in Asia alone.

  • Throughout the world youth are two to three
    times more likely to be unemployed than adults.
    Young women often experience greater difficulties
    finding employment opportunities than young men.

  • Teenagers 15-19 years old generally have higher
    rates of unemployment than young adults aged
    20-24 years. Many jobs held by young people are
    low paid and of poor quality.

  • Other youth are underemployed in jobs that do
    not utilize their full productive potential and
    do not provide adequate earnings and decent work.
    In many developing countries young people cannot
    afford the luxury of being unemployed.
    Instead,they often find low productivity work in
    the informal sector.

4. Employment promotion

  • The second strategic objective of the ILO is to
    promote opportunities for women and men to obtain
    employment and income.

  • The ILO Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No.
    122) commits countries to full, productive and
    freely chosen employment.
  • An active policy should be designed to stimulate
    growth and development, meet manpower
    requirements and overcome unemployment and

  • Policies should ensure that there is work for
    all who are available for and seeking work and
    that such work is as productive as possible.

  • Freedom of choice should enable individual
    workers the opportunity to use skills and
    endowments to find appropriate jobs irrespective
    of sex, race, religion, ethnicity, political
    opinion, social status or national origin.
    Representatives of employers and workers should
    be consulted in the formulation of policies
    related to employment.

  • Among participants at this meeting the following
    have ratified or notified Convention 122
  • Australia (1969)
  • Peoples Republic of China (1997)
  • Hong Kong SAR (1997)
  • Japan (1986)
  • Papua New Guinea (1976)
  • Thailand (1969)

  • In addition to Employment Policy Convention,
    1964 (No. 122) there are two recommendations that
    provide principles and guidelines for

  • Employment Policy Recommendation, 1964 (No. 122)
  • Employment Policy Recommendation, 1984 (No. 169)

  • These include recommendations with regard to
  • Analytical studies
  • Statistical analysis
  • Coordination mechanisms
  • Employment services
  • Training and retraining
  • Economic development
  • Industrial employment

  • Rural underemployment
  • International aid
  • Social objectives
  • Regional development
  • Labour absorption
  • Macroeconomic policies

  • Recommendation No. 169 includes a section on
    Employment of Youth and Disadvantaged Groups and
    Persons urging Members to adopt measures to
    respond to the needs of all categories of persons
    frequently having difficulties in finding lasting
    employment, such as certain women, certain young
    workers, disabled persons, older workers, the
    long-term unemployed and migrant workers lawfully
    in their territory.

  • The Special Programmes for Young People
    Recommendation, 1970 (No. 136) contains
    guidelines for youth employment.

  • More information about Conventions and
    Recommendations may be found at
  • http//ilolex.ilo.ch1567/english/index.htm

  • Country Employment Policy Reviews

  • Country Employment Policy Reviews (CEPRs) are a
    key instrument for providing ILO support in
    implementing Convention 122.

  • CEPRs analyse and assess employment issues and
    labour markets and make policy recommendations to
    lead individual countries toward full employment.
  • CEPRs underscore the centrality of employment in
    national policies.

CEPRs have been undertaken in
  • Chile
  • Brazil
  • Barbados
  • Kenya
  • Cote dIvoire
  • Pakistan
  • Thailand
  • Nepal
  • Hungary
  • Ukraine
  • Austria
  • Denmark
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands

CEPRs are being conducted in
  • Panama
  • Yemen
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka

  • Efforts should be taken to make certain that
    youth employment receives a high profile in
    future CEPRs.

  • There can be no decent work when job seekers
    cannot find employment opportunities. Thus,
    employment promotion plays a central role.

5. ILOs Comprehensive Employment Framework

  • In many ways young people will benefit from
    overall policies for growth, employment and
    poverty. Among policy challenges included in the
    Global Employment Agenda are the following

  • Develop an employment-led poverty reduction
    strategy ensuring a high rate of output and
    employment growth without sacrificing efficiency
  • Support specific measures aimed at raising the
    productivity and incomes of the working poor
    focussing on skills, credit and organization

  • Incorporate employment considerations explicitly
    into public expenditure programmes
  • Encourage greater international coordination of
    economic stimuli
  • Introduce tripartite debate for policies during
    both recession and inflation

  • Avoid damaging cutbacks in healthcare and
    education as part of stabilization measures
  • Link fiscal and monetary targets to targets for
    employment growth and poverty reduction

6. ILC Resolution Concerning Youth Employment,
86th Session, Geneva, June 1998
The ILC noted the following circumstances of
youth employment
  • Economic downturn and structural adjustment make
    it difficult to provide education, training and
    employment opportunities for youth
  • Employment opportunities for young people are
    often part time, casual, temporary and insecure

  • In many countries young people, particularly
    between the ages of 15 and 24, are finding it
    increasingly difficult to enter the labour market
    which constitutes a threat to social peace and an
    obstacle to the development of the individual and
    to that of society as a whole

  • Youth employment is one dimension of the general
    and widespread problem of unemployment and
  • Youth employment is a reflection of an
    unfavourable economic situation which cannot be
    resolved without a global increase in economic
    growth and employment

  • In every country ready access to education and
    training of young people is important
  • The creation of sustainable employment
    opportunities depends upon governments, involving
    the social partners as appropriate, creating the
    right conditions for a competitive and viable
    private sector, an efficient and effective public
    sector and active labour market policies

  • Social progress and economic growth should go
    hand in hand, and globalization, such as
    international trade and foreign direct
    investment, has the potential to create high
    quality jobs and training opportunities for young

  • Employment cannot be created by legislation and
    regulations alone but these play an important
    role in enabling young people to enter the labour
    market and embark upon their adult life

Based on these observations the Conference called
upon member States and, where appropriate,
employers, workers and their respective
organizations to undertake a number if measures.
Those most directly related to creating
employment are the following
  • Implement a balanced economic growth strategy
  • Consider new and innovative policies and
    programmes to create employment opportunities for
    young people

  • Increase investment in basic education targeted
    at improving the quality of education and access
    to further and higher education for disadvantaged
    categories of young people
  • Promote enterprise, entrepreneurship and
    self-employment among young people

  • Adopt and implement policies which improve
    competitiveness through investment, including
    investment in technology, human resources
    development, education and skills, in order to
    promote economic growth, social development and

7. National youth policies
  • A national youth policy states the priorities
    and directions a country intends giving to the
    development of young men and young women. It
    represents a commitment to a vision and a
    framework for youth participation.

  • National youth polices provide a basis for
    planning, monitoring and evaluating policies and
    programmes for young women and young men.

  • The following components may be present in a
    national youth policy
  • Establishing goals and objectives for involving
    youth in national development and social
  • Facilitating a coordinated response to youth
  • Developing supportive families and communities

  • Achieving social justice
  • Promoting healthy lifestyles and personal
  • Encouraging a positive perspective on global
    issues and international understanding
  • Developing positive attitudes toward
    environmental issues

8. Including youth employment in overall
  • It is important to link youth policies with
    general strategies including employment promotion.

  • There are a number of ways to make certain that
    young people are included in the employment
    agenda. Among these are the following
  • Direct participation of young people in policy
  • Partnerships for action at the national level
    including governments, employers, workers and

  • Alliances and networks at the international level
    for exchange of experience and mobilization of
  • Political commitment to providing decent work for
    young women and young men

  • Better statistics for youth employment including
    comparable data for young people aged 15-24 years
    disaggregated by sex
  • Improved information about opportunities for
    counselling, training and jobs including wage
    employment and self-employment

  • Please refer to the following paper prepared for
    this meeting
  • Peter K. Wingfield Digby, Youth employment
    statistics in Asia and the Pacific A review of
    internet resources

9. Recommendations of the High-level Panel for
the Youth Employment Network

  • The High-level Panel for the Youth Employment
    Network of the ILO recommends that a youth
    employment dimension be integrated into
    comprehensive employment strategies.

  • Incorporate youth employment policies into a
    comprehensive employment strategy and strengthen
    their linkages with macroeconomic, social and
    development policies
  • Make social and economic institutions work for
  • Invest in education, training and life-long

  • Take concerted action to help improve economic
    and human capabilities, productivity and incomes
    for young people working in the informal economy,
    to facilitate the integration of this part of the
    economic system into the mainstream economy

  • Adopt national strategies to harness the
    employment generation and welfare-enhancement
    potential of information and communications
    technologies (ICT) for the benefit of young women
    and men

  • The following paper was prepared for this
  • Richard Curtain, Promoting youth employment
    through information and communications
    technologies (ICT) Best practice examples in
    Asia and the Pacific

  • Exploit new opportunities for employment of young
    people being opened up by the rapidly expanding
    service sector

  • Promote innovation and entrepreneurship for young
    people as well as employment opportunities
    through enterprise development
  • Expand and improve the range of labour market
    services available to young people as a means of
    facilitating their better and faster access to

  • Ensure a social floor for young people by
    improving their working conditions, promoting
    their rights and recognizing their voice and
    representation at work
  • Extend outreach and mobilize networks to promote
    youth employment locally, nationally and

  • Recognize that effective, sustained application
    of policies by many countries should be supported
    by major improvements in the international
    economic and financial environment
  • Recognize the need for concerted and coordinated
    international action on youth employment

10. Conclusions

  • Youth employment in a chronic problem in most
    countries of the Asia and Pacific region.
  • Lack of adequate information often makes it
    difficult to measure unemployment and
    underemployment of young people.

  • It is clear, however, that youth unemployment
    is greater than adult unemployment.
  • Moreover, jobs of youth are generally more
    sensitive to economic downturns than those of
    adults based on the principle of last in, first

  • Tackling youth employment requires a
    macroeconomic strategy designed to stimulate
    growth, employment and equity.
  • In this regard youth employment must be placed
    on the general agenda for employment promotion.

  • Employment must be at the centre of development
    strategies and macroeconomic policies.
  • Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122)
    represents a commitment to full employment

  • More recently the ILO has developed a Global
    Employment Agenda for employment promotion by
    national governments. This provides a framework
    for policies to promote employment.
  • Sustainable economic growth and a strong private
    sector open employment opportunities for young

  • The effectiveness of policies for young people
    will depend on economic growth and sufficient
    jobs. Yet good results can be achieved with an
    integrated package to combat youth unemployment
  • education and training
  • guidance and counselling
  • support for entrepreneurship

  • Youth employment and job creation cannot be
    separated from the educational system and its
    relationship to the the world of work.

  • Active labour market are useful in targeting
    vulnerable groups of young people including
  • disadvantaged youth
  • school dropouts
  • young women
  • ethnic minorities
  • disabled youth

  • There is a strong case for increasing and
    strengthening the protection of young people in
    the labour market. This includes young women and
    young men in temporary, contract and part-time
    work with low pay and little organization.

  • In order to improve policies it is useful to
    have information and analysis for young people in
    the labour market. This should identify the
    nature and causes of youth unemployment.
    Improved statistics by age and sex should enable
    policymakers to identify target groups and
    monitor youth employment.

  • Better policies result from active involvement
    of employers organizations and trade unions.
  • Young people themselves should participate in
    policy making for youth employment.

  • ACTRAV and IFP/SKILLS, Decent Work A Common
    Goal of Youth and Trade Unions
  • ACTEMP and IFP/SKILLS, Meeting the Youth
    Employment Challenge
  • IFP/SKILLS, Generating opportunities for youth
    people The ILOs decent work agenda
  • Niall OHiggins, Youth unemployment and
    employment policy A global perspective, Geneva
    ILO, 2001.

  • ILO Decent Work in Asia
  • ILO Global Agenda for Employment
  • Simon White and Peter Kenyon, Enterprise-based
    youth employment policies, strategies and
  • United Nations General Assembly Fifty-sixth
    session, Agenda item 29, Follow-up to the outcome
    of the Millenium Summit, Recommendations of the
    High-level Panel of the Youth Employment Network