Off to a Good Start? Jobs for Youth
Hide / Show Abstract

Off to a Good Start? Jobs for Youth

Promoting a smooth transition from school to work, and ensuring that youth are given the opportunities to move on in their careers and lives, have long been issues of fundamental importance for our economies and societies. Today, they are even more pressing challenges as the global economy emerges from the worst crisis of the past 50 years. Indeed, young people have borne much of the brunt of the recent jobs crisis. The youth unemployment rate is approaching 20% in the OECD area, with nearly 4 million more youth among the unemployed than at the end of 2007. 

The initial experience in the labour market has a profound influence on later working life. Getting off to a good start facilitates youth integration into the world of work and lays the foundation for a good career, while it can be difficult to catch up after an initial failure. In particular, the jobs crisis is likely to leave long-lasting "scarring" effects on some of the current generation of school-leavers, particularly if they face multiple disadvantages, such as having low skills and also coming from a disadvantaged background. 

Tackling the youth jobs crisis requires a strong commitment from all: the youth themselves, the government through well-targeted and effective policy measures, social partners though their participation in the dialogue, and other key actors – such as teachers, practitioners and parents – who can really make a difference to investing in youth. 

This report makes an important contribution to a new agenda of youth-friendly employment policies and practices. It analyses the situation of youth employment and unemployment in the context of the jobs crisis and identifies successful policy measures in OECD countries. But it also discusses structural reforms in education and in the labour market that can facilitate the transition from school to work. The report draws on both recent data and the main lessons that emerged from the 16 country reviews conducted as part of the OECD Jobs for Youth/Des emplois pour les jeunes programme.

Click to Access: 
Publication Date :
15 Dec 2010
DOI :
10.1787/9789264096127-en
 
Chapter
 

The youth employment challenge You do not have access to this content

Click to Access: 
Author(s):
OECD
Pages :
35–52
DOI :
10.1787/9789264096127-6-en

Hide / Show Abstract

Young people are a vital asset in all OECD countries. But there are significant crosscountry differences in terms of the labour market situation of the youth population. There is also considerable heterogeneity among young people, which needs to be factored into any strategy to improve their employment prospects. Some countries have done much better than others in reducing the impact of the crisis on youth joblessness and appear much better placed for the recovery. Conditions in some of these countries when the crisis started were relatively favourable, while others have adopted effective policies to help youth weather the crisis.
Also available in: French