Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    23 November 2015

    Re-issued as received

    The Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth backed by UNIDO and other UN entities

    VIENNA, 23 November (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - Of  the  estimated  200 million  unemployed  people  in  2014, about 37 per  cent (or about  73 million) were  between  the  ages  of  15  and  24. To  overcome  the  challenge  of  providing  more  decent  jobs for young people,  economies  will  need  to  create around 475 million  productive  jobs  over  the  next decade  in  order  to  absorb  the  current number  of unemployed youth and  provide job opportunities for the approximately 40 million labour market entrants - mostly young people - each  year.

    The Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, which has just been endorsed by the United Nations Chief Executives Board, aims to scale up action in support of youth employment - one of the main global challenges and priorities of our times.

    The Initiative has been developed by 19 entities of the United Nations that are committed to increasing the impact of youth employment policies and expand country-level action on decent jobs for young women and men.

    Specifically, the Initiative proposes to engage key stakeholders and world leaders in high-level policy action on youth employment; expand and scale up national and regional policies and interventions on youth employment; pool existing expertise and enhance knowledge on what works for youth employment; and leverage resources from existing facilities while also mobilizing additional resources.

    The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), along with several other UN agencies, has played a crucial role in drafting the Initiative, under the leadership of the International Labour Organization.

    Monica Carco, Chief of UNIDO's Investment and Technology Unit, who led UNIDO's engagement in the Initiative, said: "The international community must address the multiple challenges faced by youth so that young people today and in the coming decades have opportunities to reach their full potential. UNIDO's mandate to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development means that employment is one of the main focus areas of the organization's programmes and activities. Entrepreneurship and private sector development can be one solution to the youth unemployment challenge."

    One of the guiding principles of the Initiative is a focus on the creation of decent jobs and the improvement of the quality of work. Together with other members of the Initiative, UNIDO will support countries in the identification of sectors and areas with job creation potential.

    Another guiding principle relevant to UNIDO is the promotion of the access of young people to productive assets and to environmentally sustainable economies (the green economy, management of natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystems).

    A third principle commits members of the Initiative to expand investments in youth with a view to improving access to education and training, and to promote the connection between education and skills development systems.

    UNIDO is already paying particular attention to lifelong learning, quality apprenticeships and other work experience schemes that address skills mismatches and labour markets.

    Implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9 - infrastructure, industrialization and innovation - will mean thousands and thousands new jobs, economic diversification, enhanced value addition, technological change, and linkages within and across economies.

    "These aims are even more important now, as we face the biggest refugee and migration crisis since World War Two. We need to tackle the root causes of displacement, starting by providing young people with opportunities and with jobs," said Carco.

    * *** *

    For more information:

    Matteo Landi
    UNIDO Industrial Development Expert
    E-Mail:  M.Landi[at]

    Youth in productive activities

    Productive work for youth

    Development post-2015: UNIDO amplifies the voice of youth