Goal 8 didn’t appear so urgent when I downloaded the poster to help educate our readers on the facts and promises of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this month. Even the description of the goal did not raise any hairs:
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
We all know that to end global poverty, we need to create more jobs for people living in under-resourced communities in the developing world. But a blog excellently written by Laura-Jane Rawlings, CEO of Youth Employment UK CIC, caught my attention today as our current focus at Business Connect has us planning our goals for 2016 and beyond.
“Youth unemployment reaches crisis mode.”
“Youth unemployment is a global crisis,” Ms. Rawlings began. “According to the ILO (International Labour Organization), there are 73 million young people worldwide looking for work and young people are three times more likely to be out of work than adults. This reality demonstrates the need for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Decent work and economic growth.”
The International Labour Organization or ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations promoting jobs and protecting people. The ILO’s programme on youth employment operates through a global network of technical teams at its headquarters in Geneva and in more than 60 offices around the world. It provides assistance to countries in developing coherent and coordinated interventions on youth employment.
Why should YOU be concerned?
The world is facing a worsening youth employment crisis: young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and almost 73 million youth worldwide are looking for work. The ILO has warned of a “scarred” generation of young workers facing a dangerous mix of high unemployment, increased inactivity and precarious work in developed countries, as well as persistently high working poverty in the developing world.
According to the United Nations, 87% of the world’s youth population live in developing countries, and 72% live on less than $2(USD) a day. The Millennium Development Goals identified young people as among the most vulnerable sectors of the African population, upon whom issues such as poverty, hunger, lack of education, maternal mortality, unemployment and HIV/AIDS have a far greater impact. This is because young people often don’t have access to the information, schooling, social influence and basic rights needed to address these issues, and are often overlooked in national development agendas. Even the State Department is getting involved as many of our youth in poverty-stricken areas of the world are turning to a “promised” life of crime or ISIL.
As a social enterprise, we are in business to help people living in under-resourced areas of the world create a sustainable business distributing clean resources in their communities and beyond. We are creating scalable youth-inspired opportunities and will partner with like-minded organizations to help youth reach their aspirations and create social and economic change while earning an income.
You have heard this from us before — we can not do this alone. We need partners; both corporate and private sector engagement is needed to expand opportunities for all young people, through micro-franchising opportunities if funds are not available for a new business.
As such, any solution to the youth empowerment issue needs to include a mechanism that allows young people to create their own jobs, not just for the sake of employment, but also to enable our economies to thrive and grow at the pace needed for us to achieve our development goals. Will you help? You can contact us for more information or to get involved.