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Over the next decade, 1 billion people will enter the labor market. Altogether, the global economy will need to create 5 million jobs each month, simply to keep employment rates constant. Global growth and poverty reduction over the next 20 years will be driven by today’s young people, yet many of them face significant difficulties in finding productive employment.

Not only must we try to keep pace with the growing labor force, we must also do much better than we have done over the past 50 years. This requires that we engage more effectively to bring hundreds of millions of people into productive work and out of poverty. More energy and more resources must be devoted to developing and harnessing effective solutions to enable this transformation. This requires a global action that involves coordination from many stakeholders, and also requires solid evidence on how best to improve the job market for young people.

More than 170 academics, business leaders, and government ministers gathered for the Solutions4Work conference on May 7-8 in Istanbul, Turkey to discuss advancements made in youth employment and to plan next steps for maintaining momentum and driving progress on the issue. Convened by the World Bank, the event highlighted achievements of two initiatives that have contributed to recent progress: the Global Partnership for Youth Employment (GPYE) and the Multi-Donor Trust Fund on Labor Markets, Job Creation, and Economic Growth (MDTF). Both initiatives have built a solid foundation of knowledge that promotes evidence-based solutions to youth unemployment, including Measuring Success of Youth Livelihood Interventions and Strengthening Life Skills for Youth.

To expand on this work and address remaining challenges, a group of stakeholders that includes the International Youth Foundation, the World Bank, Youth Business International, Accenture, Plan International, and RAND Corporation is evaluating the need to create a global coalition dedicated to addressing youth employment.

This post is part of a series appearing from the Solutions4Work Conference – held in Istanbul, Turkey.

Ike Amadi

Author of the book Do Something! I am an advocate of all things #fresh. I want to see you become a #dosomethingperson.

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