Partnerships for youth employment in the Commonwealth of Independent States (YEP CIS)

The technical cooperation project, financially supported by the PAO Lukoil and implemented by the ILO, seeks to improve the effectiveness of youth employment policies and programmes in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation to establish a framework for regional cooperation and knowledge sharing on youth employment.

The project addresses low-skilled youth, those who dropped out from school, those who experience difficulties in entering the labour market due to the lack of work experience, and other groups of disadvantaged youth, with particular emphasis on youth at risk of social exclusion and those exposed to anti-social behaviours.

A regional component

The substantial regional component provides the overall umbrella to the project, ensuring effective knowledge-sharing between countries and actors. The Project has set up a network that promotes cooperation and knowledge sharing on youth employment in view of developing or revising policies and strategies for decent work for youth in nine countries of the sub-region(Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). Bi-annual meetings are organized for the members of the network combining capacity building activities, knowledge-sharing, mutual learning sessions and a peer review exercise. As a result, it is expected that the direct recipients will increase their effectiveness in the formulation of employment policies and strategies for youth.

As the countries of the sub-region are sharing a lot of common challenges and, at the same time, have already elaborated and tested different approaches to tackle existing and potential challenges, the project is collecting and sharing governmental and enteprise-based good practices for youth employment promotion as well as conducting a number of analytical reviews on the topics prioritized by the constituents.

A special component of the project is devoted to the capacity building of social partners. The Project enhances the contribution of employers’ and workers’ organizations of the nine countries of the sub-region in the policy debate regarding youth employment, and promotes their involvement in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of labour market policies and programmes. The Project also supports greater participation and representation of young people in employers’ and workers’ organizations and initiatives to increase their voice in social dialogue.

Country components

In addition to the regional component, the project also targets country specific needs in the three target countries of the sub-region: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. The technical interventions are subject to the varying needs and priorities of each project country.

In Azerbaijan, the Project contributes to implementation of the Employment Strategy of the Republic of Azerbaijan through piloting two active labour market programmes (ALMPs) for young jobseekers in urban and rural areas, in cooperation with relevant labour market institutions and social partners. The ALMPs focus both on demand and supply measures to ease transition from school to work and to formality. These interventions should lead to the adoption of a national package of labour market policies targeting youth in Azerbaijan.

In Kazakhstan, the Project provides assistance to the development and implementation of national youth employment initiatives. This is done through conducting an in-depth youth employment policy review with further evidence-based policy options and recommendations that serve as a ground for identification of priorities and preparation of the National Youth Employment Action Plan. The NAP will be adopted on a tripartite basis and will guide national intervention on youth employment.
In the Russian Federation, a national employment policy review was conducted. Furthermore, the Project supports development of youth employment policy in line with the State Employment Promotion Programme. In this regard, the work on a gender-sensitive and evidence-based Roadmap for the promotion of Decent Work for youth on a tripartite basis is ongoing. The work also includes the design of a package of targeted and effective initiatives that tackles the major problems jointly identified at national level. The Project provides assistance to government and social partners in the pilot implementation of these initiatives and help draw conclusions on their evaluation, possible replication and systematization.

Due to differences in unemployment rates and youth employment challenges across entities of the Russian Federation, the project intervention has a sub-national focus in three regions: Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region, Perm Territory and Republic of Kalmykia. There, the project helps piloting the initiatives suggested for the national Roadmap, e.g. piloting implementation of the active labour market programmes targeting youth. In addition, multi-stakeholder coordination mechanisms (so called Youth Employment Pacts) are established and launched involving regional authorities as well as social partners, private companies and civil society organizations. This mechanism allows consultation and discussion among a large spectrum of actors who can put together their strengths and comparative advantages to address in practical terms the issue of quantity and quality of youth employment in the region.