Future of Work Agenda for Young Workers in Azerbaijan

A training workshop for the Public Employment Services (PES) was held on 16-19 April in Baku. Focused on youth employment, lifelong-learning and youth labor transitions, bringing into action the policy recommendations for investing in people's capabilities outlined in the report of the Global Commission for the Future of Work.

News | 20 April 2019
About 80 PES officials from all over Azerbaijan were trained on how to improve and deliver quality employment services to young people. They also had the opportunity to discuss with high-level officials and social partners’ representatives how to advance the national employment strategy in critical areas such as support to self-employed people and transition from the informal to the formal economy. The ILO Project “Partnerships for Youth Employment in the Commonwealth of Independent States - CIS”, funded by the Russian company LUKOIL, provided technical assistance and international expertise to further develop innovative approaches to youth employment.

The opening panel included the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection Anar Aliyev, Deputy President of Azerbaijani National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers) Fuad Humbatov, Deputy Chair of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Azerbaijan Javanshir Alkhasov. The ILO Moscow Project Manager Ramiro Pizarro introduced the report “Work for a brighter future” and its implications for Azerbaijan employment policies and the youth employment agenda. He said that the report provided a fresh policy framework for organizing new training modules in Azerbaijan.

The Deputy Minister Anar Aliyev highlighted that the ILO is providing relevant and timely support to different areas of a broader cooperation agenda, ranging from technical advice on employment policies to the implementation of targeted programmes, including as a critical component the ILO PES staff-training activities.  He mentioned as recent achievements the digitalization of the employment services, the increase of minimum wages, and various initiatives developing entrepreneurial skills among self-employed people.

The workshop aimed to strengthen the PES institutional capacity to implement he newly enacted Azerbaijan National Employment Strategy 2019-30. The Azerbaijan strategy is fully aligned with the UN Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, setting clear national targets in terms of reducing youth unemployment rates, decreasing the number of youth not in education, employment or training (NEET), and expanding youth opportunities for certified vocational education.

The training sessions offered a good opportunity to apply the investment in people’s capability approach to youth employment with focus on life-learning opportunities and support to youth labour market transitions. Participants were specially interested on how to improve services to youth  on vocational guidance and work-based learning modalities; enterprises incentives for hiring young people; support youth transitions from school to work, from inactivity to employment and transition from self-employment to youth entrepreneurship.

As a result of the training two areas for further cooperation were identified, firstly, the PES initiative to revamp the existing program supporting self-employed people by focusing on youth entrepreneurship and business development; upgrading local value chains and building enabling private-public partnerships. Secondly, to improve the institutional framework regulating the cooperation between the PES and private enterprises opening new opportunities for youth job-placement and work-based trainings.

The activity contributed to the preparation of the next CIS 2020 regional network meeting, which prioritised the Future of Work Agenda and Youth Employment as a thematic policy issue.