Solutions – The Systems Approach

Piecemeal approaches to youth job creation don’t work. The World Bank and ILO conclude: Programmes that integrate multiple interventions are more likely to have a positive impact. One of our young editors put it more simply: “What we need is a pipeline – a structured system of support which puts us in a flow from entry into education all the way to a fulfilling job.”  That, in essence, describes the Systems Approach we urge governments and donors to deliver at scale in their countries. To create jobs using a systems approach, we recommend that they do all of the following things, all at the same time.

ONE: Change Mindsets: Just as aristocratic families in 19th Century England refused to allow anyone involved in ‘trade’ to enter their clubs or salons, so youth in most LEDCs are brought up to resist manual trades: jobs in government, international agencies or the ‘professions’ are what they taught to aspire to. That mindset must change. So too must schools, encouraging young women and men to seek careers as entrepreneurs. After all, that is how 80%-95% of them will earn their livelihoods. Career guidance counsellors must alert them to this reality, and teachers trained to prepare their students to prosper in self-employment. Read More

TWO: Enabling Enterprise:  Time and again, young people tell us they cannot start a business because they cannot access the necessary funds. However, almost everywhere, there are a myriad ways to raise funds: crowdsourcing, supplier credits, MFIs or community saving schemes (VSLAs), franchising, leasing and hire purchase agreements are the most prevalent. This section shows policymakers how they can help. Read More

THREE: Engage with the Private Sector:  Most new jobs will be created by the private sector, and all public sector jobs are paid for by taxes generated by the private sector. Job creation policy must therefore focus on growing the private sector – including, where possible, efforts to move the informal sector into co-operatives. Employers and students must also connect to improve skills-matching and expand apprenticeships / work experience.Read More

FOUR: Direct Government Interventions:  Governments can create jobs via public infrastructure projects, wage subsidies, job and training guarantees, and expanded civilian or public service schemes.Read More

FIVE: Youth-led Initiatives:  Youth job creation is, at heart, a youth challenge. Youth must be inspired, empowered, skilled and enabled to create jobs themselves. Several have and we cite some examples.Read More

SIX:  Green Jobs:  Green jobs are a jobs growth area. In January 2017, the Business & Sustainable Development Commission reported that investing in four SDG target areas could create 380 million jobs by 2030.Read More

SEVEN: Digital & Hi-tech Jobs:  Digital skills such as impact outsourcing, e-lancing and net-preneurship are powerful job creation technologies.Governments and policymakers can do much more to support their spread.Read More

EIGHT: The Metrics Challenge:  If you can’t measure the impact of job creation interventions, you’re just guessing. No senior economist is going to believe our guesses. As a field, we must get better at the metrics. Here’s how.Read More

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