Launched, the latest report on labour market policies for youth in Timor-Leste

The ILO study addresses a major information gap regarding the offer of labour market programmes in Timor-Leste, particularly those specifically targeting youth.

News | Dili, Timor-Leste | 09 October 2023
The launch of the latest ILO report on youth employment in Timor-Leste. (c) ILO
The latest ILO report on youth employment, titled “Labour market policies for the youth in Timor-Leste: a Mapping Exercise” was launched on 26 September in Dili, attended by around 60 national stakeholders and development partners. The report consists in a thorough mapping exercise conducted in the second quarter of this year targeting policies and programmes implemented by the government, along with some development partners and civil society organizations (CSOs).

The report provides systematic consolidation of information for the public, addressing design and implementation issues while adding some suggestions for future development.

Youth employment is a critical issue in the country. Our study finds that while on paper a lot is going on, implementation and design issues persist and small changes could lead to substantial gains."

Diego Rei, ILO’s Employment and Labour Market Policy Specialist for Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Lead authored by Carlos Gamito, a Research Associate at the Spanish National University of Distance Education (UNED), and co-authored by Diego Rei, ILO’s Employment and Labour Market Policy Specialist for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, the report highlights the popularity of job attachment programmes in Timor-Leste, while also noting their possible misuse as a form or subsidized employment as one of the key findings.

Another main result of the analysis is the substantial equivalence, despite completely different budgets, between full time equivalent jobs created by foreign employment schemes and public work programmes. The report also emphasizes the generally common and noteworthy association of entrepreneurship support with additional services (such as mentoring, business support) accompanied, however, by the non-full disbursement of available entrepreneurship support capital.

In terms of recommendations for policy making, the authors advocate, amongst other, for a stronger coordinating role for Employment and Career Guidance Centres (CEOPs), a structural approach in the formulation and management of (active) labour market policies, targeted changes in the design of certain ongoing interventions, such as length of entrepreneurship support, working conditions in line with the ILO Recommendation on Quality Apprentice, linkages between activation programmes and foreign employment schemes and quantitative offer of programmes for (re)integration of vulnerable youth in the labour market.

Finally, the issue of properly developing the monitoring and evaluation functions of (active) labour market policies is emphasized, calling implementers to ensure allocation of enough resources to monitor the labour market outcomes of policies’ participants and promote the quantification of impacts.

“Youth employment is a critical issue in the country. Our study finds that while on paper a lot is going on, implementation and design issues persist and small changes could lead to substantial gains,” argued Diego Rei during his presentation.