(ILO News) - The ILO held three national youth consultation events in the Caucasus region during March, providing young people with an opportunity to express their concerns and share potential solutions for the youth jobs crisis that has heavily affected the region.
The highlights of the national events included several presentations made by youth-run organizations focused on youth employment.
Karen Sargsyan from Armenia stressed that young people in his country face many hindrances on the labour market. “The main problem for the youth to find a job is the lack of experience, which employers see as the main obstacle,” he said.
Youth entrepreneurship as a career option was discussed by the participants. Gagik Makaryan, the chairperson of the Republican Union of Employers of Armenia, spoke about an innovative programme aimed at providing assistance in the creation of new businesses for young people who wish to become entrepreneurs.
The need to create a vocational orientated education system in the country was highlighted by Armenia’s Deputy Labour Minister Araik Petrosyan who also attended the forum.
In Georgia, the participants agreed that there was an urgent need to increase the capacity of public employment services in order to effectively address the issue of youth employment.
The potential role of public employment offices in assisting both workers wishing to migrate as well as in the successful reintegration of returning workers was also recognized by those taking part.
A young union representative brought up the issue of mismatch between skills and available jobs in the labour market, a problem that was also pointed out by youth through social media networks.
Decent and safe jobs, protection of migrant workers and the impact of migration in neighbouring countries were also themes discussed at the consultation.
In Azerbaijan, a young representative of the Confederation of Trade Unions underlined the need to protect the rights of young employees at the enterprise level, particularly in multinational companies through promoting freedom of association and creating trade unions.
Forum Participants stressed that cooperatives provide good opportunities for youth, as they are relevant to rural and urban areas and for all skill levels. Cooperatives’ help young men and women to bring together their experience, skills and resources. The essential role of social partners in the implementation of policies for decent work for youth was also emphasized during the event.
The ILO is holding global youth consultation events in 46 countries around the world throughout March and April 2012 to hear young people’s views on the alarming youth employment situation.