Azerbaijan hosts third round of peer review of youth employment policies

As part of the project “Partnerships for Youth Employment in the Commonwealth of Independent States,” implemented by ILO and financed by Public Joint Stock Company LUKOIL, a Peer Review network focusing on youth employment policies was launched in 2014, with nine countries participating.

For the first round of Peer Reviews, the Kyrgyz Republic was reviewed by the Republic of Armenia in 2014, while for the second round of the review, youth employment policies of Tajikistan were assessed by the tripartite constituents of the Republic of Azerbaijan. On 9-11 September, 2015 Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku hosted the third round of the peer review of its youth employment policies, programmes and institutions.

High-level experts from labour ministries of the participating countries, representatives of social partners from Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Uzbekistan and three Russian regions (Kalmykia, Perm Territory and Khanty-Mansy Autonomous Region) and ILO officials took part in the event aiming at developing joint approaches in addressing youth employment issues, which are common to the countries of the sub-region. The examination and appraisal of Azerbaijan’s performance in developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating youth employment policies and programmes was conducted by the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan (Uzbekistan was invited as an observer) based on the prepared national overview and an on-site visit to Baku.

In his opening address , the Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Azerbaijan Salim Muslumov referred to a series of measures taken in that country towards enhancing the level of education and employment and strengthening the social protection of young people. Deputy Chairman of Azerbaijan Trade Unions Confederation (ATUC) Agil Dadashov spoke about the unions’ active participation in programmes and events aimed at promoting youth employment in the country.

Mammad Musayev, president of National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers) of Azerbaijan, focused on the positive impact of the private sector, as well as public-private partnerships, on the youth employment situation in the country. Olga Koulaeva, Senior Employment Specialist of the ILO Moscow Office, described as useful measures being taken in Azerbaijan with a view to enhancing young people’s vocational skills to match the requirements of the labour market. The ILO would continue to support the member states’ efforts towards that end, she said.

As the CIS countries are all facing similar youth employment challenges, the ILO’s Youth Employment Project aims to support the governments and social partners in the CIS in their search for good practices and models promoting job creation and youth employment. The practices were presented during the on-site visit and included such innovative tool as an electronic system of registering labour contracts, which facilitates transition from informal to formal economy. Another practice included special programmes for rehabilitation of, and promoting the employment among, the people with disabilities.

In order to present, discuss and summarize the findings of the third peer review round, the tripartite members of the youth employment network from nine countries will gather in Sochi, Russian Federation, on 13-17 October 2015 where a set of policy recommendations based on the international experience will be elaborated by the international experts, network members and ILO officials.