Globally, young women and men set out in life with dreams, hopes and aspirations. However, in their transition to adult life, young people face many challenges that hinder their entry into the world of work.

According to recent estimates by the International Labour Organization (ILO)[1] (2016), 71 million youth, aged 15-24 years, around the world are unemployed and 156 million young workers are living and working in poverty. Recent unemployment increases have been driven by the slowdown of the economy, particularly in emerging countries. Generating more and better jobs for young people is a global challenge and a primary policy concern to be addressed.

In recent years, the analysis of employment trajectories have looked into how first jobs affect a person´s employment trajectory. Having a high-quality first job significantly increases the probability of getting other high-quality jobs later in life.

Child labour, early school dropout, early and precarious entry into the labour market, and poor qualifications and opportunities to access quality jobs have a deep impact on the young people´s transitional pathways. In addition, wide disparities exist between young women and men, underpinning and giving rise to wider gaps during the transition to adulthood.

It is necessary to harmonize and improve the coherence of policies and programs focused on eradicating child labour and reducing decent work deficits for young people. Initiatives to effectively promote decent work trajectories for young people calls for coordinated efforts from Governments, Employers, Workers and other key actors everywhere. (See more)[2]


[1] World Employment and Social Outlook 2016: Trends for Youth