Promoting decent jobs and social justice for youth during two-week Academy in Turin

More than 100 participants from around the globe came together in Turin for the first in-person Youth Employment Academy since the COVID-19 pandemic.

News | 27 July 2023

TURIN (ILO News) - The ILO’s Employment Policy, Job Creation and Livelihoods Department (EMPLOYMENT) and the International Training Center of the ILO successfully concluded the two-week Youth Employment Academy in Turin, Italy, from 3-14 July 2023. The Academy brought together more than 100 ILO constituents and youth employment stakeholders, including young people, from around the world, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to design and implement innovative strategies addressing the youth employment challenges in their countries.

The Academy kicked off with welcoming remarks by Sangheon Lee, Director of EMPLOYMENT at the ILO. He highlighted that “Uneven recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, worsened by the war in Ukraine and the energy, cost-of-living and climate crises, threatens to compound global inequalities. In an unequal world young people have greater difficulties to access decent work, gain independence, and fulfil their role as innovators, job creators, and leaders." This was followed by an interactive panel featuring young experts, moderated by Susana Puerto Gonzalez, Senior Youth Employment Specialist at the ILO.

Recognizing the diverse backgrounds, needs and interests of the participants, the Academy adopted a blend of plenary sessions and elective tracks. The plenaries covered topics such as youth employment trends and challenges, youth labour market statistics and diagnostics, gender-responsive employment policies, youth-inclusive social dialogue and tripartism, pro-employment macroeconomic and sectoral policies, youth in the rural economy, gender and decent jobs for youth, youth transition to formality and youth employment in fragile situations. The elective tracks allowed for personalized learning experiences, enabling participants to explore specific areas aligned with their interests. The elective tracks on offer were labour market policies for youth, youth employability and skills development, youth entrepreneurship and sustainable self-employment, decent jobs for youth in the green economy, decent jobs for youth in the digital economy, and young people’s rights to work and rights at work. This was complemented by group exercises and experience-sharing among participants that kept the Academy dynamic and interactive.

During the Academy, participants had the opportunity to share more about the different youth employment interventions and programmes they are currently implementing in their countries through dedicated stands during the Marketplace. Participants presented success stories, innovative approaches, and best practices, promoting knowledge-sharing among themselves.

To complement the learning experience in the Campus, participants also undertook a study visit to learn about programmes supporting young people’s transition into decent work. This included, for example, Fondazione Compagnia San Paolo’s project supporting the labour market inclusion of youth NEETs and OGR Tech, a start-up hub for innovation and business acceleration.

Taking into account the importance of ensuring young people are meaningfully engaged in all stages of the programme cycle, a dedicated plenary session on meaningful engagement of young people in youth employment programming was held. This session built amongst others on the lessons learnt thus far through the PROSPECTS Programme where one workstream focuses on Advancing Young People’s Meaningful Participation and Engagement in Forced Displacement Contexts.

The Academy closed with an invitation to all participants to amplify youth employment efforts by joining the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, an alliance of committed partners scaling up action and impact on youth employment.

Overall, the Academy strengthened the capacities of participants in diagnosing youth employment challenges and designing innovative solutions to address them. At the same time, it connected like-minded individuals and organisations committed to promoting decent jobs for youth and advancing a more inclusive and prosperous future for young people.