Policy highlights:

  • Around the world over 73 million young women and men are unemployed. Creating an inclusive job market for young people is part of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and requires social cohesion. This brief review explores the question, ‘What works for young people to support them in the labour market?’
  • Youth employment programmes positively impact the probability of youth gaining employment and their level of income. Entrepreneurship programmes had the greatest impact regarding increases in youth participation and income. Employment services and subsidized employment programmes had no effect on either the probability of employment or level of income.
  • The effectiveness of employment programmes is context-dependent; active labour market programmes appear to be more effective in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. This is partially due to expertise in such programmes – and their implementation by either governments or NGO’s – being higher in low-income countries.
  • Evidence-based policy should not apply evidence uniformly, but adapt it to different contexts. Interventions that are appropriate for tackling unemployment, underemployment and low wages for young women and men will vary according to specific contexts. Furthermore, programmes are likely to be most effective if coordinated in the context of a holistic policy or commitment to youth development within a given funding round.
  • Policymakers may be able to make their programmes more effective by: 1) focusing on the most disadvantaged youth, as targeting this group has shown greater effectiveness of employment programmes; 2) considering local and national contexts in determining what interventions to implement and in which combinations; 3) combining supply and demand interventions, including skills training, entrepreneurship promotion and employment subsidies.
Connected themes
Share this post

Related items

youth at work 2 pager
Youth @ Work: 5 pathways for change

How to address the African missing job crisis through green and digital jobs, while assuring that none is left behind? INCLUDE's recently published evidence synthesis paper series provides a number of potential solutions: they were discussed in the webinar series Youth@Work, from which we present five key insights.

Maya Turolla Profile
AERC Regional Policy Forum summary

The AERC hosted a virtual Regional Policy Forum on 28 March 2022. The forum brought together key stakeholders who play important roles in shaping new research findings, paving new policy directions, and initiating innovative practices in the areas of youth and employment.

Getting up to speed with inclusive development

The INCLUDE team’s reading list: March 2022 Every month we share with our readers a…

cairo-workers
Identifying Economic Sectors to Create Employment for Youth in Africa: key findings from selected country cases

Growth Sectors for Youth Employment (GSYE) is an African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) collaborative research…

John_maara_Photo_
The world youngest continent is looking for work

The African continent is undergoing an important demographic transformation that will, for the better or the worse, drastically change its labor market. According to the World Bank, every year 12 million young people enter the job market while only 3 million formal jobs are created. With a median age of 25 years old, the African continent is the youngest in the world.

Maya Turolla Profile