Young people constitute a generation of consumers, employees, innovators and investors. There is therefore a strong case for businesses to be involved in work on youth employment. Lack of engagement may result in higher search and recruitment costs when businesses cannot find the skills they need to expand, and their potential pool of customers may dwindle as more young people become unemployed.
The IOE network takes a global leadership role in championing the importance of youth employment, advocating for policies that increase job opportunities for young people, and ensuring international organisations support national efforts. The IOE supported the 2005 ILO Resolution on youth employment, which aims at engaging different stakeholders in responsible, concrete and proactive actions to tackle youth unemployment.
In 2013, in conjunction with BIAC, the IOE initiated the Global Apprenticeships Network, dedicated to creating job opportunities for youth and a skills base that matches demand. The IOE has also worked in cooperation with the global trade union movement to identify key priorities for the employment of young people and has successfully ensured the G20 and the ILO focus on this critical issue. Notably, the IOE-BIAC-Deloitte 2015 Report on youth employment contributed to a better understanding of national initiatives and policies and reiterated the need for more G20 commitment via coordinated actions between governments, businesses and other social partners.
Some young people will become the next generation of employers and job creators - entrepreneurs in their own right. Many successful new industries, products and services have been created by younger people, and ongoing global development and technological progress relies on the creativity and drive of young people being successfully channelled into entrepreneurship and self-employment.
The IOE is a vocal proponent of opportunities and support for youth entrepreneurship, consistently advocating at the highest levels for a regulatory environment for business that facilitates and promotes youth entrepreneurship.