Support to employment policies, jobs and skills for youth in Zambia

Zambia

Zambia’s population is young with 46 per cent of the 14.6 million Zambians under the age of 15. The youth bulge constitutes an opportunity to advance socio-economic development at the same time as it represents a challenge if the economy is not capable of providing sufficient job opportunities for young people.

The main causes of youth unemployment/underemployment identified are linked to low education and skills levels, skills mismatch, low levels of entrepreneurship coupled with limited access to appropriate finance, technology and markets, low absorptive capacity of the labour market for new entrants and the concentration of growth in highly capital-intensive and urban based sectors.

The objective of the project is to contribute to the generation of greater opportunities for young people to find decent work and income thus contributing to poverty reduction, sustainable development and social inclusion. The project supports the Ministry of Youth and Sport of the Government of Zambia to enhance coordination of youth employment interventions and strengthen institutional frameworks for the effective implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) on Youth Employment which was launched by the Republican President in August 2015 together with the National Youth Policy.

The NAP on Youth Employment is the national framework to address youth employment in Zambia and presents a paradigm to mainstreaming youth employment objectives and targets in the drivers of the economic growth process as well as embedding them in the decentralization framework for improved labour market outcomes for youth, including policies to address employability and opportunities for entrepreneurship.

The project also supports the Government to assign priority to youth employment in the National Employment and Labour Market Policy (NELMP) which is under review, particularly through the development of policies for sectors with high youth employment potential (e.g. tourism, information and communication technology and agriculture).

Finally, the Project supports the Zambia congress of trade Union to increase the youth participation in trade unionism and promote the youth rights at work. This is done through the development of the Union’s Youth Policy and training programmes. The Employers are also supported to pilot an internship programme with the aim of up scaling it. This will help address the problems of skills shortages in the country.