ILO to pilot a youth employment services centre in Ethiopia

Following the findings of an assessment done by ILO that showed limited access to employment services information in Amhara Region in Ethiopia, ILO and social partners agreed to set up a youth employment services centre in the Region.

Press release | 06 March 2018
Addis Ababa (ILO News): ILO and social partners discussed the technicalities of setting up a youth employment services centre in the Amhara Region during a strategy development and capacity building workshop that was organized by ILO in Addis Ababa from 5 – 6 March, 2018.

H.E Ambassador Admasu Misgana, State Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, during his opening speech, informed that the early public employment services were mainly concerned with job-matching, including the process of arranging for jobseekers to obtain jobs and employers to fill vacancies. He further explained that this has gradually developed to assume other modern and proactive employment service related functions that has been provided by international standards.

“The current public Employment Services (PES) operate in a rapidly changing labour market. Powerful demographic forces are working to create an ageing labour force in developed countries while continued population growth in most developing countries such as of ours is creating problems of youth unemployment. The forces of global competition and information technology are creating formidable challenges against the proper functions of most of PES of our time.”

During the training workshop, participants reached a consensus on the functions and services of the pilot centre along with the roles and responsibilities of respective line bureaus during the implementation. Furthermore, participants were briefed on the existing national employment services and its legal environment. The key functions of the pilot Youth Employment Service (YES) center were identified:
  • Collect disseminate labour market
  • Labour Exchange (Job Matching)
  • Job search support (Guidance and counselling)
  • Outreach activities (marketing services to employers and job seekers)


Youth employment presents a particular challenge to Ethiopia. The country’s population aged between 0-29 years will reach about 73% of the total population (2016) . Approximately three million young enter the labour force every year in Ethiopia. The National unemployment rate is 4.5%; urban unemployment is 6.5%, and rural unemployment is 2.5%. The share of the economically active population shows an increasing trend between 2004 and 2014 as opposed to the demands of the labour market. The population growth coupled with limited economic opportunities and livelihood options for Ethiopian youth has resulted in significant increase in the rate and magnitude of out-migration to different countries in the last few years. Ensuring productive employment opportunities both in rural and urban areas has become a challenge. As a result, a growing number of Ethiopians look for job opportunities in the capital province, other urban areas or migrate abroad. However, the exact number of Ethiopians who have migrated abroad is unknown due to the nature of migration (irregular migration channels) and the absence of a centralized registration system.

In connection to this, within the bigger umbrella of Stemming Irregular Migration in Northern & Central Ethiopia (SINCE) program, ILO has been implementing a project on ‘Addressing the Root Causes of Migration in Ethiopia’ managed by the Embassy of Italy in Addis Ababa funded by the European Union Trust Fund for Africa. SINCE developed with the overall objective to contribute to reducing irregular migration from Northern and Central Ethiopia by improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable population, including potential migrants and returnees, with specific focus on youth and women.