Youth Employment and Migration: Knowledge sharing activity: What works?

  • Albania - Delivery of youth employment programmes
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina - Promoting youth employability
  • China - Protecting and promoting the rights of young migrants
  • Costa Rica - Public-Private initiative for decent work
  • Ecuador - Promoting decent work and entrepreneurship for youth
  • Honduras - Programme for the productive use of remittances
  • Nicaragua - National Plan: Decent work for youth
  • Paraguay - Youth: Capacity and economic opportunities for social inclusion
  • Peru - What works in the promotion of youth employment
  • The Philippines - One stop resource centre for young migrants and education subsidy
  • Serbia - Youth Employment Fund
  • Tunisia - Public Private Partnership (PPP) for youth employment
  • Turkey - Vocational training aligned to labour market demand

Albania - Delivery of youth employment programmes

The Joint Programme piloted interventions targeting disadvantaged youth at the regional level. Economic, social and labour market indicators pointed at Kukes as one of the regions where youth were more at risk of marginalization. As such, it was selected for the implementation of innovative labour market interventions in a public-private partnership (PPP) framework. The PPP involved the National Employment Service (NES) and its local branches as front-line service providers, and a private sector intermediary organization that mediated between the local employment offices and the private enterprises.

The measures targeted over 300 long term unemployed youth relying on social assistance, with the aim of reintegrating them among the active labour force, establishing/restoring work capacity and motivation, and ultimately achieving sustainable employment in private enterprises.

Bosnia and Herzegovina - Promoting youth employability

The joint programme introduced a novel approach in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with services specifically designed to prepare young people for the labour market. Sixteen Centres for Information, Counselling and Training (CISO) were set up in the premises of the Public Employment Services to provide job counselling assistance, training and access to updated labour market information to youth aged 15 to 30 years old. The service targets mainly unemployed youth; returnees; young people searching for information on migration opportunities as well as students.

In the past 2 years, nearly 34,500 youth have been registered in the Centres. The costs of setting up and running one CISO Centre is approximately US$66,000 per year, with an average number of 2,150 registered youth. The overall employment rate of beneficiaries who have received assistance is 18%.

China - Protecting and promoting the rights of young migrants

Young migrants in sending areas in China are ill prepared to handle the challenges of adulthood, of work, and of living in the city. To prevent unsafe migration and support young migrant workers to adapt easily to city life, an integrated Life Skills Training Package was developed for potential young migrants in sending areas and urban migrants in receiving areas. The training package, including a self-instruction handbook for young migrants and a trainers’ guidebook, includes gender and participatory training methodologies and addresses topics such as city life, job, health and relationships.

The Life Skills Training was delivered to 5,800 potential and actual young migrant workers in middle and vocational schools, training institutions, community centers, workplaces and workers’ evening schools.

Costa Rica - Public-Private initiative for decent work

This initiative is aimed at equipping 40,000 vulnerable youth with personal and social competencies for the labour market. It is grounded on interinstitutional coordination and a network of public institutions and private enterprises to offer young people a package of integrated services to address education and employment problems. Services are delivered in 16 one-stop-shops where young people are helped to examine their needs and are involved in the design of an assistance strategy tailored to their requirements. A profiling system determines the degree of vulnerability of each individual for priority intervention.

The requirements for the replicability of the initiative are. i) a local government interested in improving the situation of youth, ii) one social worker to manage the one-stop-shop, iii) an adequate physical space, iv) information on the youth services that are available at local level; v) information on the situation of young people; vi) coordination among local institutions; vii) participation of young people; and viii) knowledge of the Integrated Assistance Model and its functions.

Ecuador - Promoting decent work and entrepreneurship for youth

The Joint Programme operates in three provinces of Ecuador (Loja, Azuay and El Oro). Over 25% of the population of Ecuador is between 15 and 29 years old. One every five unemployed is a young person. Over 45% of young workers are employed informally and over 65% of all migrants are young people who leave the country to find a job. Over US$ 2 million were provided to finance the business ideas of 800 young people through concerted action of the Agency for Local Economic Development , the “Programa de Finanzas Populares” and local banking institutions.

The joint programme also had an impact on policies and institutions for youth employment: i) a bilateral treaty was signed between Ecuador and Peru to protect victims of trafficking; ii) a national plan on youth employment was developed; iii) a proposal for a Provincial Ordinance for decent work and migration in Azuay was drafted; and iv) a National Report on the situation of youth to inform public policy development Was published.

Honduras - Programme for the productive use of remittances

In 2010 workers’ remittances in Honduras comprised 16.2% of GDP (or US$2,807 million, which is higher than the external debt of the country). Over 69% of remittances is used for household consumption. The aim of the programme was to promote the productive use of remittances; encourage savings and investment; generate employment and business opportunities at local level; and improve the quality of life of the families of migrant workers. Every unit of national currency that migrants invest in the programme is matched by an equal amount provided by the government (1x1). The aim is to achieve a 1x2 with migrants’ investments also matched by funds of local authorities.

Migrants becoming partners in the implementation of projects allows local municipalities to implement development initiatives by allocating only one third of the total amount required. The programme comprises two phases. In the first, migrants abroad are mapped and organized into registered committees. These latter organize fund raising to finance development projects in municipalities of origin The second stage includes training to recipient municipalities to design viable projects, implementation and monitoring of the results. Partners are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (mapping and registration of nationals living abroad); the Secretariat for Social Development (development of local projects and inter-institutional coordination) and local municipalities (execution of projects at local level).

Nicaragua - National Plan: Decent work for youth

The National Plan builds on five principles: i) employment paths; ii) human development; iii) equality of opportunities and rights, iv) social dialogue and v) solidarity between generations. The decent work path includes action on basic education, vocational education and training, youth aspirations and expectations, work experience and labour market entry through wage- or selfemployment, underpinned by adequate social protection. The target of the Plan is for 120 million young women and 80 million young men to have transited to decent work by 2016.

The National Plan comprises five pillars: 1) training and employability (increased access to vocational training and higher education aligned to labour market requirements); 2) employment and transition to work (increased quantity and quality of jobs for youth, reduced under-employment and informality); 3) entrepreneurship (increased youth competence in starting and operating a business); 4) social inclusion and gender equality (increased equality in the world of work); 5) social dialogues (inclusion of youth in national social dialogue mechanisms).

Paraguay - Youth: Capacity and economic opportunities for social inclusion

The Joint Programme in Paraguay is geared at increasing labour market participation of poor youth; promote the productive use of remittances and provide information about migration; and implement strategies addressing youth domestic work. In the country over a third of young people are under-employed, while over 7% of the total youth population migrated abroad to find better employment opportunities. The Joint Programme also contributed to : 1) the design of the national youth employment policy; 2) the drafting of the law on youth transition to work; 3) the establishment of the Youth Employment Directorate at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security; and 4) the setting up of onestop-shops for vocational training and job mediation.

The coverage of health security system was extended to benefit domestic workers, a Bill on Domestic Work was prepared to address the discrimination faced by women working in this sector; and a centre for women domestic workers was established within the Directorate for the promotion of women workers. In the field of migration, the Government approved with the support of the Joint Programme, a national policy against human trafficking

Peru - What works in the promotion of youth employment

The Joint Programme in Peru focused on four pillars: 1) policies and institutional development; 2) strengthening of the Public Employment Service, 3) management of youth migration, and 4) promotion of youth entrepreneurship. The Joint Programme was considered among the twenty good practices of the last 20 years. At governance level three golden rules apply: do not do anything alone; do not start anything from scratch, and do not implement simply by line. In the policy field, the joint programme supported the development of a National Action Plan on Youth Employment that targeted 395,000 young people, 5% more than planned.

With regard to the employment services, the joint programme grouped into one single certificate (CERTIJOVEN) all the information necessary to enterprises to recruit a young person. This minimized the cost and time young people had to invest in job search. For migration, an Infomigra service was established to provide young potential migrants with information on destination countries before departure. Finally, in the field of entrepreneurship development, an IT-based business information system was set up to facilitate the market analysis process for young, potential entrepreneurs coupled with training on business start up.

The Philippines - One stop resource centre for young migrants and education subsidy (Angusan del Sur)

The Centre targets disadvantaged youth, young migrants and youth left behind by migrant parents. It provides information and services on employment, reintegration, safe migration, referral to education and training services, entrepreneurial and psycho-social counselling.

The education subsidy aims at increasing participation and retention rates of disadvantaged youth attending secondary education. School fees and a monthly allowance is paid based on school attendance. The subsidy targeted 72 students in the academic year 2010-11 and 87 students in the year 2011-12.

The Joint Programme also comprises a component on the productive use of workers’ remittances: this work focuses on advocacy to sensitize migrant workers, capacity building of entrepreneurship service providers and business training for overseas Filipino workers.

Serbia - Youth Employment Fund

The Youth Employment Fund (YEF) was established through a partnership between the Government of Serbia and the donor community to co-finance integrated active labour market programmes targeting disadvantaged youth (15-29 years of age). It provided the opportunity to pilot employment promotion initiatives never attempted before.

The Management Committee of the YEF (comprising representatives of the government and of the donor community) is responsible for approving eligibility criteria, duration and compensation levels of the youth employment promotion measures. The YEF piloted three main lines of services: on-the-job training, self-employment services and programmes for young persons with disabilities. By the end of the Joint Programme, over 2,800 youth had been treated, mostly young persons with a low level of education (89%), long-term unemployed (64%) and with no prior work experience (69%). The placement rate at follow up was 24.4% for on-the-job training, 74.3% for self-employment
and 97.6% per cent for programmes targeting persons with disabilities.

Tunisia - Public Private Partnership (PPP) for youth employment

Souk At-tanmia is an economic development initiative geared to offer young Tunisians non-refundable grants to support innovative projects. It is open to non-governmental organizations, cooperatives and individual young entrepreneurs. To date, Souk At-tanmia has 16 partners (see below) ranging from private enterprises to donor organizations

The Digital Entrepreneurship Platform (DEP) puts at disposition of young Tunisian entrepreneurs the technological means for an open and transparent dialogue. The platforms offers the possibility for users to join any of the group of discussion or to create their own.. Currently there are six groups (Sensitizing the government, SMEs financing, Development Programmes, “Success stories” of young entrepreneurs, SME and social entrepreneurship, Investment, entrepreneurship and employment creation). The Platform can be found at

Turkey - Vocational training aligned to labour market demand

The objective of this initiatives was to design vocational training courses for young unemployed based on labour market requirements. In Turkey, in fact, the Public Employment Service (ISKUR) organizes vocational training with private enterprises, provided that a minimum number of trainees is employed at the end of the course. To increase retention rates and ensure that training was offered in occupations for which there was a demand, the Joint Programme launched a series of researches (labour market survey and scan of priority economic sectors) in Antalya to inform the design of vocational training

Placement of young unemployed after training in occupations identified by labour market surveys was found to be higher than standard training courses. Currently this pilot is being replicated in other provinces of the country to increase the placement rates of vocational training targeting young unemployed.