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|Naam||CNV Internationaal (A.W.T. Dankert)|
|Datum||30 augustus 2019|
CNV Internationaal aims to increase access to decent jobs for disadvantaged youth, by actively participating in policy dialogue on youth employability and the development of personal skills. CNV Internationaal works mainly in the Sahel region/West African countries on youth employability issues (Niger, Mali, Benin, Guinee, Senegal) as well as in other parts of the world (Guatemala, Colombia).
In recent years, Sub-Saharan Africa has seen positive economic growth and increased investments, however young people face many challenges and constraints, such as:
1) Troublesome integration into the labour market of first-time job seekers within the context of a large skills mismatch and fast-rising youth growth rates;
2) Poor availability of labour market information for job seekers, including data on required skills, potential wages and up-to-date vacancies;
3) Precariousness and informality of the jobs that youth end up in and for which they are often over- educated.
As of the challenges youth face, trade unions play an important role in promoting and supporting youth employability. Furthermore, CNV Internationaal sees the ILO Report on the Future of Work as important document for future policy making.
In 2010, the formal wage sector provided jobs to only 16% of the labour force. The industrial sector (mining, manufacturing, and construction) accounts for less than one-fifth of these wage jobs (or about 3% of total employment). The remainder is in agriculture (62%) and in household enterprises (22%). Although the wage industry sector is increasing in size, industrialisation starts from such a low base that even radical industrialisation will not generate sufficient jobs to absorb new entrants to the labour market for the next two decades. The wage services sector is expected to do better. By 2020, roughly a third of all new jobs will be created in this sector (e.g. in health, education, ICT, commerce and transportation).
CNV has developed a business case, showing the added value of investing in youth employability and skills development. This business case forms the basis of possibilities for businesses, youth, trade unions and society as a whole:
> Benefiting from the value of young people’s characteristics
In many cases, young people possess some inherent advantages. (This does not mean, however, that older The digital literacy, social networking and social media skills of the younger generation can also benefit companies. Compared to older workers, young workers are more comfortable with new technologies and likely to adapt faster to such technologies. Young people today have grown up in the age of technology so they have an increased understanding of the advantages of this technological era, which can be beneficial for the advancement of enterprises.60 In this regard, businesses with a young client base in particular, such as social media companies or tech giants, might want to hire younger employees in order to relate and communicate more effectively with their client bases.
Young people are generally more adaptable, mobile and trainable. This enables enterprises to establish long-lasting economic returns. By investing in employability of new and contracted employees, companies are able to respond more easily to changes in the market. A more flexible company is also better capable of dealing with employee sickness or leave.
> Improved workforce development
Investing in young people helps employers grow a committed, loyal workforce that will help to achieve their future business goals and, in the case of a workforce shortage, fill in existing gaps. It enables employers to build a strong pipeline of future talent, address future skills gaps, and ensure succession planning. Workforce planning helps develop knowledge transfer from an older workforce and keep skills in-house.61 It allows companies to shape their workforce in response to organisational needs and develop an organisational culture that fits market requirements, and in turn, support long-term productivity and competitiveness.
> Investing in people (human capital) pays off
Human capital is a critical success factor for any company or business.63 Investing in education, training and skills development will lead to better qualified staff that produce more and higher quality outputs, in a more efficient way, with increased creativity, resulting in higher profit margins.
Adopting an overall strategy, including companies/private sector/ young people/ trade unions, governments for an explicit commitment to invest in young people
- make a conscious decision to think about what they can do to support young people in their community and make a commitment to act accordingly. For example by giving talks in local schools and colleges, offering work experience opportunities, taking on apprentices and organising quality internships, developing a school-leaver programme to complement graduate recruitment or through the strategic planning of the workforce. This commitment can also be made official and implemented as part of a human capital strategy.
- Create and facilitate an enabling business and investment environment (infrastructure investment, policies on land transfer, agriculture pricing, fiscal incentives, labour market reforms, promotion of entrepreneurship, etc.). An enabling environment facilitated by favourable (macroeconomic) government policies, laws and regulations is key for private sector.
- Develop and implement youth employment and education policies focussed on the needs of the youth, and making budget available.
- Strengthen trade union youth committees and young individuals by:
o Helping to develop their youth employability plans with the aim of introducing those plans to the larger confe¬deration and national youth councils.
o Providing advice to upgrade the quality of the lobby and advocacy plans.
o Supporting the actual implementation of these plans (through e.g. coaching, technical assistance, training).
- Leadership development of young leaders within the trade unions by:
o Strengthening the leadership qualities of the existing youth committees (share expertise on the challenges of youth employability, improve negotiating skills, collabo¬rate strategically with media, etc.). The content of such leadership programmes should be based on the needs of the youth committees.
Three ideas worth mentioning:
- CNV Internationaal sees the ILO Report on the Future of Work as important document for future policy making, looking at connecting interests of young people and the globalizing economy. Noting that agro-food is an essential sector in African countries, however, it is important to look beyond that sector and take into account other developments and therefore sectors such as IT and garment.
- CNV Internationaal and CNV Jongeren like to propose to put things into practice by organizing a youth employability mission (instead of a trade mission): skills development and social dialogue at the level of youth employability by introducing private sector to African youth, trade unions, governments t
- CNV Internationaal would like to explore if it is possible to create - on an international level - a multilateral organization, like the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, to generate global leverage and buy-in of private sector, governments, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, etc. to tackle the major global challenge of youth unemployment.