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Youth and Economic Participation in the Commonwealth Caribbean Preliminary review of provisions within National Youth Policies on Youth Employment and.

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Presentation on theme: "Youth and Economic Participation in the Commonwealth Caribbean Preliminary review of provisions within National Youth Policies on Youth Employment and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Youth and Economic Participation in the Commonwealth Caribbean Preliminary review of provisions within National Youth Policies on Youth Employment and Employability Commonwealth Youth Programme Caribbean Centre May 2011

2 Some data Youth 15-24 = 18 per cent of the worlds population with a very significant number being unemployed, underemployed, between jobs or working in the informal economy. World figures measure the UN youth range of 15-24. Cumulative figures to encompass the Commonwealth age range of 15-29 likely to be higher. Further implications for youth definitions according to policy provisions, sometimes up to 35. Data not easily available. 5-2

3 Caribbean youth unemployment trends Using the UN measure, statistics pertinent to the Caribbean show that the worlds economic crisis has had a dramatic impact on the challenges facing young people seeking jobs within the region. Between 1998 and 2008 - the pre-crisis period - a trend of declining rates (from 8.5% to 7.0%). Trend was reversed between 2008 and 2009. Youth unemployment rate saw rose to 8.1% in 2009. Youth unemployment rates substantially higher than adult unemployment in almost every territory with available data.

4 Caribbean trends 16.6% of the regions youth is unemployed as opposed to a 6.1% average for adults (ILO, 2010). Female percentage at 10.1 % is higher than the international average of 7.0%. The male average unemployment is 6.5% (ILO, 2009)- gendered youth unemployment Increasing numbers of unemployed graduates. 2009 Barbados Statistical Department estimated that 13% of people registered as unemployed possessed tertiary education. College graduates resenting the fact that they are asked for 3 to 5 five years experience to qualify for a professional job (USAID, 2008).

5 Country Percentage of youth in the labour force TotalFemaleMaleF-MTotalFemaleMaleF-M Bahamas 3328370.87880771.0 Barbados 2924340.78177860.9 Jamaica 1613200.77364820.8 St Lucia 2620310.67262820.8 SV/Grenadines 2920380.57967900.8 Trinidad and Tobago 2519310.67565850.8 Belize 3425430.67257870.7 Guyana 3523460.56541890.5 Source: (ILO 2010) [1] [1] Transition ratios close to 1 suggest little change in youth labour force participation across all subgroups. A ratio of less than 1 mean females are less likely than males to participate in the labour force. Caribbean Youth Labour Force Participation


7 5-7 The implementation of structural adjustment programmes in some Caribbean countries The needs of employers and the distribution of knowledge and skills in the labour force also suggesting a deficiency in the skills and technical expertise of potential employees, and a relative deficiency within the education system. Lack of work experience has been identified as a factor impacting on job prospects of young people- costs to employers of training. Younger job seekers find it hard to compete with their older counterparts because they lack the experience that employers are looking for. (UNECLAC 2004) Labour market bias against young people. E.g. employment protection legislation usually requires a minimum period of employment before it applies, while compensation for redundancy usually increases with tenure. (Global Youth Employment Trends 2010) Contributing Factors of Regional Youth Unemployment

8 Employability concerns Availability of training and employment initiatives- quality, access and impact National and customized micro-enterprise schemes Young people concerns – their levels of well-being and poor sense of belonging, low levels of hope and low sense of a place in community and nation building e.g. in CARICOM 2010 Report -Youth described living in the Caribbean in terms of O.K, living without hope and living like dogs. Education does not prepare youth adequately for the regional and global labour market. Knowledge, skills, values and attitudes of young people in the work force lag behind those required by the private sector. Education not matching opportunities of ICTs and technology Absence of an entrepreneurial culture; Failure of schools to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of youth, foster innovation and creativity (foresight) Caribbean youth lifestyles and job preferences The ready option (and good pay) of the drug trade, lure of belonging- attractiveness of gangs...made quite attractive with limited employment opportunities

9 5-9 70 - 85 per cent of enterprises in the Caribbean belong to the MSE sector Small enterprises, inclusive of micro enterprises account for the majority of existing jobs and generate most of the new ones. A high proportion found in the informal sector and are sole proprietorships; A vast majority of these businesses operate from homes. Between 40 and 50 per cent are in distributive trade - wholesale and retail business. ( ILO Report 2000 Small enterprise development in the Caribbean) Youth schemes at varying levels exist in most other countries managed by national public agencies, civil society agencies, hybrid relationships in youth supportive programmes, YBI programmes (YBTs). – Quality, impacts, linkages, foresight? Limited financing for enterprise development, limited support for youth businesses Enterprise development within the Caribbean

10 5-10 Given the reported high incidences of youth unemployment, the gendered aspect of Caribbean youth unemployment, the explicit, cultural and / or implied biases to the employment of young people, the concerns of readiness for employment in relation to qualification, job market preparedness, skills and technological savvy, labour market issues etc, a review of a sampling of Caribbean National was undertaken to assess: What salient provisions exist to facilitate Youth Employment and Employability. What special provisions if any are made to promote self-employment and entrepreneurship Are programmes targeted specifically to youth who need support. What could be general gaps to be managed in addressing youth employment and employability. Scope of review

11 5-11 Written National Youth Policies exist in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize Cayman Islands, Dominica, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos. The Bahamas, Belize and Guyana are currently actively reviewing or drafting national youth policies are. The most recent policy document is the Barbados Youth Policy, which was completed in March 2011. Several countries and territories are due to review or update their youth policies. The status of four is not known. (Canada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Virgin Islands) All existing youth policy documents referred to above contain provisions for youth employment and employability. Status of Youth Policies

12 Salient provisions to facilitate Youth Employment and Employability The creation of mechanisms to increase the level of youth employment and employability as well as the promotion of life-long learning and self development. Advocacy for an education system that is relevant to the needs of youth, to potential employers, emerging employment markets and global technologies.

13 Consensus on need for greater focus Sports as an industry that creates employment Cultural Industries, which are the fastest growing industries in the world. They currently represent 7% of the worlds GDP. Agriculture, with implications for enhancing land access for youth. Mainstreaming youth employment (mentioned earlier by the Sec. Gen) – working with key stakeholders in all sectors.

14 Some good practice- recommendations for building the MSE capacity in Caribbean countries (ILO 2000 Report) already contained in youth policies, for example : Introduction of entrepreneurial education in the school curriculum. Entrepreneurial training for school children currently exists in some countries, such as Dominica as the Catch Them Young programme in primary and secondary schools Programmes to identify prospective entrepreneurs and business opportunities Training in new skills and upgrading existing skills implementation Development of exclusive entrepreneurship development and enterprise in schools and for youth Management programmes for women, youth and other disadvantaged groups (special youth cohorts)

15 Areas for elaboration Which policy provisions are being implemented? The extent to which policy provisions are successfully mitigating employment and employability concerns. The existence and nature of working inter-sectoral linkages to produce success outcomes in youth employment and employability. Good practice in employment and employability that can be customized for replication. Capacity development and institutional strengthening issues in youth Ministries. Pathways for integration of support for achieving success outcomes for youth employment and employability in the Region. Better and smarter networking among development partners

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