ILO’s intervention at webinar series “Employment and Entrepreneurship for Chinese Youth”

The covid-19 pandemic has a severe impact on global youth employment. This is also true for the 8.74 million Chinese university graduates. The ILO is providing employment and entrepreneurship advice for the Chinese youth.

News | 19 May 2020
The covid-19 pandemic has a severe impact on global youth employment. This is also true for the 8.74 million Chinese university graduates. The Chinese government has been taking various measures to protect youth employment. Promoting entrepreneurship is one of the most effective measures.

Given the foreseen youth unemployment challenge for China and to help its constituents to address this issue, the ILO, through its Beijing office, cooperated with Chinese National College Graduate Employment Promotion Association (NCGEPA, affiliated to the Ministry of Education of China) and KAB National Promotion Office (affiliated to the All China Youth Federation), co-organized a webinar series on “Employment and entrepreneurship for Chinese youth” for university graduates and employment promotion trainers. The webinar series aims to provide employment advice and inspire entrepreneurship among college students.

On 18 May, the third session of this webinar series – “Youth entrepreneurship in the post COVID-19 era and the ILO entrepreneurship package” was conducted by the ILO’s enterprises team from HQ and its International Training Center (ITCILO) in Turin. Over 300 students and teachers participated in the webinar.

The session was opened by Mr. Victor Van Vuuren, the director of ILO Enterprises Department, whom emphasized the ILO’s mandate and role in tackling the challenges in the world of work in face of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. He indicated the work that has been carried out at the Enterprises Department to help countries and peoples to cope with the crises. Mr. Victor Van Vuuren also expressed the willingness to work with Chinese constituents and people to find solutions to achieve decent work during and after the crises.

The opening was followed by Ms. Marlen de la Chaux, who is the Global SIYB and Entrepreneurship Coordinator. Ms. Marlen de la Chaux pointed out that youth entrepreneurship can be an attractive alternative for graduates as a means of employment, income generation and personal development. She then introduced the ILO’s areas of work on entrepreneurship and its three products - Start and Improve Your Business programme (SIYB), GET Ahead programme (GET Ahead) and Know about business (KAB).

Specialists Ms. Linda Deelen and Ms. Tong Cai from ITCILO then delivered a thorough presentation on ILO’s strategies to promote youth entrepreneurship and self-employment to protect youth employment including the new KAB package. They also introduced green entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship which can be the new trend to create employment as well as addressing environmental and social problems.

SIYB was introduced in China in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security in 2000. Since 2007, the implementation has been fully handed over to the Ministry. An estimated 10 million entrepreneurs have been trained through SIYB in China between 2011-15, resulting in the creation of 1.9 million new businesses and 3.9 million jobs in new and existing businesses.

KAB was introduced in China in 2005. Over the years, it has been used by more than 1830 universities and institutions. An estimated 2 million students were trained, while 11,300 teachers participated in the training activities.