Goal  –  Full Youth Employment by 2030

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Target 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value

UN Sustainable Development Goals


The Problem  –  We need to create a billion jobs by 2030

About 75 million youth are registered unemployed worldwide but many millions more are under-employed. 620 million are idle or not looking for work, and 600 million more will join the workforce by 2030 with fewer than 300 million jobs awaiting them. So – the world needs to create about a billion jobs by 2030 (18 million a year in Africa alone) to meet SDG 8. There is no greater challenge in international development.

Automation: Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, says “automation will put half the jobs in the UK at risk”. That includes more than 98% of jobs in insurance and thousands of administrative and office jobs. Transportation jobs will also disappear as driverless cars and trucks fill our roads.

Lack of access to capital: 91% of youth told us scant access to start-up funding is the biggest obstacle to starting an enterprise. Many youth are also terrified of taking on debt.

Skills mismatching: In many countries, schools and colleges still focus heavily on Humanities not STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), resulting in too few engineers and IT professionals being trained.

Lack of focus on women’s employment: Women’s value as entrepreneurs and income-generators is often constrained by cultural attitudes, family traditions and, sometimes, government legislation.

Lack of focus on Household Enterprises (HEs): Statistics show that 80-95% of bottom-of-the-pyramid youth will earn mixed livelihoods in household enterprises and self-employment. But most schools still educate students as though they will all get jobs in the formal waged sector.

Inadequate metrics: World Bank & ILO researchers decry the “infrequent presentation of standardized programme cost measures alongside impact evaluation results.” Senior economists at both institutions, have so far not expressed any confidence in existing job creation impact measures.


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