“Partnerships for Youth Employment in the Commonwealth of Independent States”

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

Brief description

Phase I

Background and strategy

The project was a response to the pressing need for action as expressed by the ILC in June 2012 (“Call for Action”). It aimed to support the ILO constituents in dealing with youth employment crisis and labour market mismatches. The overall objective of the project was to improve national capacities to design, implement, monitor and evaluate youth employment policies and labour market programmes, so as to reduce the number of young women and men who are unemployed, or are at risk of unemployment, and promote and support youth prospects for decent and productive jobs, and equal opportunities for youth in the labour market. The project became a unique public-private partnership with the Russian company LUKOIL which within the framework of its corporate social responsibility and human resource management has given high priority to the promotion of youth employment.


The project has created a sub-regional cooperation platform for nine countries. The platform functioned on a regular basis, driven by the mechanism of voluntary peer reviews on youth employment policies. A comprehensive toolkit for peer reviews, youth labour market analysis and practices on youth employment have been produced by the project, as a contribution to a global policy package for youth employment promotion.

Main project achievements in the target countries:
  • In Azerbaijan, the project supported Government’s efforts in diversification of economy and creation of decent jobs, especially for young people, through a designed package of measures covering youth employment programmes. Based on the Project's interventions, a new self-employment program supported by the Presidential Fund, helped around 1500 households to start new, formal business. Reform in PES was conducted and staff was trained by the ILO. New National Employment Strategy 2017-2030, aligned with the SDGs was developed. National Tripartite Commission on Labour, Economic and Social Affairs was created. New Unemployment Insurance Law was developed and came into force. Transition from the informal to the formal economy was prioritized by the government through creating special commission and developing an action plan, which is implemented with the ILO support.
  • In Kazakhstan, the project supported the Government in strengthening PES and promoting internal labour mobility. This makes young people in Kazakhstan more competitive in the labour market, and equips the national labour market administration with adequate and effective tools for provision of services tailored for youth.
  • In Russia, the project supported development of youth employment policy in line with the State Employment Promotion Programme 2013-2020 through a Roadmap for the promotion of Decent Work for youth, which includes demand- and supply-side initiatives. In the same context, the project supported national efforts in development of new occupational standards and development of system of validation of qualifications.
In three pilot regions of Russia (Khanty-Mansy Autonomous Region, Perm Territory and the Republic of Kalmykia) the project has supported establishing tripartite partnerships as effective instruments for tackling youth employment challenges, accompanied by piloting innovative active labour market measures (youth guarantee scheme, wage subsidy programme and entrepreneurship programme).

Phase II

Based on successful implementation of the Project "Partnerships for youth employment in the CIS", the ILO and LUKOIL reached an agreement on continued cooperation, which is realized in a new phase of the Project. The second Project phase covers the period of 2018-2022 focusing on youth employment promotion.

Target countries in the Project phase II are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Uzbekistan. In the Russian Federation, three new pilot regions are selected: Astrakhan and Kaliningrad Regions, and the Republic of Komi. The funding for this phase is USD 6 million.
The main objective of the project phase II is to further improve effectiveness of policies and programmes promoting decent jobs for young people, based on broad and sustainable partnerships and informed and integral policy frameworks.

At the strategic level, the project activities addressing youth unemployment feed directly into the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda. The project correlates with the implementation of the UN Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, adopted by the UN in 2016, through integrating the Initiative’s key elements into the youth employment promotion policies in the CIS.

More specifically, the second phase focuses on the following components:
  • further develop regional cooperation on youth employment through conducting thematic policy reviews, benefitting from synergies with UN Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth;
  • on the national level in four target countries, the Project aims at promotion of innovative and effective youth employment policies linked to national strategic priorities and anchored in national employment policy frameworks;
  • in three target regions of the Russian Federation the project fosters and supports youth employment partnerships among institutions, social partners and other stakeholders promoting inclusive labour market and decent job opportunities for youth, and piloting tailored active labour market measures.

Project Phase I Brief: “Partnerships for Youth Employment in the Commonwealth of Independent States” (PDF, 699 kB)
Project Phase I Evaluation Summary (PDF, 620 kB)
Project phase II Brief: “Partnerships for Youth Employment in the Commonwealth of Independent States” (PDF, 361 kB)