In February, The New York Times reported on the state of joblessness and resulting desperation among educated young people in rural Tunisia. This was the same demographic that protested in 2010, overthrowing the Ben Ali regime and sparking the Arab Spring. Five years on, an arid employment landscape (62.3 percent of college graduates are without work, as are 37.6 percent of young people) have fueled renewed protests. And yet, despite promises from the current government, jobs have not arrived. The article ends with the mayor of provincial Kasserine lamenting silence from the capital: “No one comes here to trace a vision for the region.”
We can use digitization along with the Internet of Everything (IoE) to help solve some of the world’s most challenging problems— water scarcity, hunger, income inequality, environmental degradation, poverty, migration… and unemployment. Yet, with the wealth of opportunity digitization can bring, we live in a world of complex global challenges that deeply impact our society—from climate change to health and economic challenges. The challenge of unemployment looms large, especially among youth with an unemployment rate that is practically three times higher than that of adults.
The Rockefeller Foundation and Innovate+Educate
What’s more, these strategies are proving to be good for business. Many bosses are reporting that “blind hiring reveals true talents and results in more diverse hires,” whereas traditional hiring practices allow managers to pick hires based on whom they’ve connected with personally, or who has the shiniest resume and pedigree—factors that fail to accurately predict job performance. As most companies know, the better the hire, the more likely the person is to stay at the company and perform at a high level, reducing costly turnover and repeat training.
Making Cents International
You have 100 formal employment jobs to fill with high-potential, disadvantaged youth and ten times the number of applicants. What to do? Recommendations include the importance of a well-defined candidate competency profile, Managing candidates’ expectations of both the training program and the nature of the job, Scaling up youth development models requires standardization of all operational processes and learning from peers can support organizations to quickly implement improvements to their screening processes
Institute of Development Studies
Africa has the youngest population in the world, with 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, a figure projected to double by 2045. As young people look to enter the workforce in Africa many are likely to face unemployment or underemployment, suffering from unsafe, insecure, part-time, poorly paid work. Industry analysts, government ministers and donors alike see information technology as contributing to African growth and as a major opportunity for employment for young people in the future.
Making Cents International
Meeting the needs of the global youth population requires evidence-based, scalable, and sustainable initiatives. In response, Making Cents International offers a demand-driven Knowledge Management (KM) platform that builds the capacity of youth development stakeholders to design, implement, and evaluate high-impact youth economic opportunity programs, policies, and partnerships. The platform components are:
Workforce Connections, FHI 360
“All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life and his relations with his kind.” -Marx, Engels
ITU Telecom World
The ITU Telecom World Young Innovators Competition is looking for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas on how ICTs can mitigate the various problems faced by refugees. This could include helping to provide critical services to refugees, working to prevent the situations that make them refugees, connecting families and tracking movements, or helping to make refugees at home in their host country or safely returning them home. The two best ideas coming out of CeBIT will be extended further benefits, such as visibility, networking and capacity building opportunities.
Youth for Technology Foundation
Entrepreneurs are made not born.
When I was growing up, my father often said to me, "They can take everything else away from you, but they can't take away how much you have in your head." His words have resonated with me throughout my life. Perhaps that is why, when I started Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF) from a cubicle at Microsoft in 2000, I became so obsessed with my vision that I had no choice but to pursue it. Fortunately, I did not have to convince my husband, Telema, that my vision for YTF was worth pursuing; he soon joined me as cofounder.
The Rockefeller Foundation, Incandescent, Knack
Youth unemployment in the United States is an intractable problem, especially for the vulnerable segment of “opportunity youth”: young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor work.
Existing programs to address this challenge are expensive and difficult to scale, underscoring the need for a radically different approach to effect change at the ecosystem level.