A high-level meeting on "Social Dialogue With and For Youth" was co-organized by the EMPLOYMENT and GOVERNANCE departments at the International Labour Organization, in Geneva on 29-30th November 2022. It was a first-of-its kind event where the youth were at the front and centre of the discussion amidst the ILO’s tripartite structure that underpins social dialogue. Embodying the spirit of ‘nothing about us without us’, the youth representatives from different parts of the world presented their perspectives and suggestions along with government representatives and social partners to forge pathways for youth-inclusive and youth-sensitive social dialogue that lead to better youth employment outcomes. Acknowledging the present reality and challenges, participants from over twenty countries, representing governments, employers, workers and the youth, shared knowledge and best practices, and also proposed concrete solutions towards supporting decent work for youth through social dialogue and policy coherence.
Several ministers and government representatives from the ILO member states joined and shared their visions on ways to engage youth in social dialogue processes and address their concerns.
Panellists shared the best practices in different countries including:
Representatives from both the workers' side and employers side highlighted the issues facing the youth today, as well as the need to integrating youth in social dialogue to find solutions, and the risks if not doing so.
The youth were at the table. Embodying the spirit of ‘nothing about us without us’, youth representatives from different parts of the world presented their perspectives and suggestions along with government representatives and social partners to forge pathways for youth-inclusive social dialogue that lead to better youth employment outcomes. Not only did the youth get to put forward their voice in the meeting, but during a side event they formulated a list of expectations and suggestions for better integration of youth in social dialogue and better employment outcomes.
- Portugal’s active social dialogue with and for youth to devise innovative initiatives that address youth needs, such as free kindergarten services for working mothers, financial support to companies that formally employ young people and an upskilling programme that brings together learning institutions, public employment services and the youth.
- Paraguay’s experience in terms of shaping the National Employment Plan with a focus on youth, through tripartite consensus.
- Senegal’s national youth council which promotes synergies in the context of exponential demographic growth, and a Presidential council for youth employment which promotes recruitment of youth in different sectors, and community projects and labour-intensive public projects that benefit youth.
- Ghana’s recent establishment of a National Service Scheme which allows new graduates to gain their first job experience.
- Colombia’s increased opportunities for greater participation of youth in policy making. As of now, half of the elected representatives in municipal councils are young participants.
- Australia’s initiatives to improve youth participation in policy making, such as the Office for the youth, youth steering committees and youth advisory groups, and a youth affairs coalition.