Young people globally are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. They are also particularly vulnerable to insecure and poorly paid jobs. This page summarises some of the key evidence around Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment.
- DCED Synthesis Note: Youth employment
- Key overview documents
- Training for youth in skills
- Wage subsidies for youth
- Support to youth entrepreneurship
- ICTs for youth employment
- Youth employment in conflict-affected areas
- Youth employment in agricultural and rural areas
- Measuring the results of youth employment interventions
- Other useful resources
DCED Synthesis Note: Youth employment
Synthesis Note: Youth Employment, DCED, 2017: This 5-page note summarises key research on how different private sector development approaches can assist young people. It includes 4 key take-aways:
- Global unemployment, or employment in precarious jobs, is much higher for youth than for adults. While training leads to better labour market outcomes, skills development interventions tend to have only small effects on youth employment. Wage subsidies are ineffective
- Job search and matching services are considered more cost-effective than other interventions, and have led to significant benefits in some countries, in particular when implemented by private service providers and in urban markets.
- It is not clear from the evidence whether grants or loans are most effective in helping young entrepreneurs set up and grow a business.
- Digital technologies have great potential in delivering training and financial services to youth, as well as offering new employment opportunities; they are however less likely to be accessible by rural youth.
Key overview documents
- Africa’s opportunity: reaping the early harvest of the demographic transition and ensuring no one is left behind. ODI, 2017. This report brings together some of the reasons to be optimistic about Africa’s demographic transition. Provided that the right policy agenda is enacted, the authors are positive about the impact that young people will have on Africa’s economies.
- Interventions to Improve the Labour Market Outcomes of Youth: A Systematic Review of Training, Entrepreneurship Promotion, Employment Services and Subsidised Employment Interventions, ILO, 2016. Reviews 107 interventions in 31 countries and concludes that while active labour market policies targeting youth do pay off, this can take a long time.The results are also summarised in this blog: Four ways to maximise the effectiveness of youth employment programs. Johan Kluve, 2017.
- Youth & Transferable Skills Evidence Gap Map, 3ieImpact. Highlights available evidence and evidence gapson the outcomes of transferable skills programming for youth in low- and middle-income countries.
- Meeting the Youth Employment Challenge in Africa – Six Myths, World Bank, 2014. Blog post arguing that there has been an unhelpful focus urban unemployment for youth and that rural and agricultural employment should feature more strongly in donor support
- Youth Employment: What can be learnt from international experience with youth employment programmes?, EPS PEAKS, 2013. Assesses best practice in private-sector driven youth employment programmes in developing countries.
- Youth Employment in Developing Countries, IZA, 2013.Identifies key challenges in relation to youth employment in developing countries and provides recommendations on how EU development cooperation could support the youth employment agenda.
Training for youth in skills
- Youth at Work: Building Economic Opportunities for Young People in Africa, MasterCard Foundation, 2015.
- Impact of an Adolescent Girls Employment Programme: The EPAG Project in Liberia, The World Bank, 2014.
- TVET Interventions to Improve Employability and Employment of Young People in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review, Campbell Systematic Reviews, Janice Tripney et al., 2013.
- Review of policies to strengthen skills-employment linkages for marginalised young people, ODI, 2012.
Wage subsidies for youth
- What works in wage subsidies for young people: A review of issues, theory, policies and evidence. ILO, 2015.
- A youth wage subsidy experiment for South Africa, 3ie, 2014.
Support to youth entrepreneurship
- Economic Recovery Assessment. Focus on Traders in Western Area Urban and Kenema, Sierra Leone, Mercy Corps, 2015.
- Skills and Youth Entrepreneurship in Africa: Analysis with Evidence from Swaziland, AfDB, 2014.
- Maximising the impact of youth entrepreneurship support in different contexts, YBI and ODI, 2013.
- Generation Entrepreneur? The state of global youth entrepreneurship, YBI, 2013.
- Stimulating Managerial Capital in Emerging Markets: The Impact of Business and Financial Literacy for Young Entrepreneurs, The World Bank, 2013.
- Employment Generation in Rural Africa: Mid-Term Results from an Experimental Evaluation of the Youth Opportunities Program in Northern Uganda, DIW Berlin, 2013.
ICTs for youth employment
- Landscape Review: Mobiles for Youth Workforce Development, mEducation Alliance, 2013.
- Analysis of ICT-Enabled Youth Employment in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa, Rockefeller Foundation, 2013
- Connecting to Work: How Information and Communication Technologies Could Help Expand Employment Opportunities, The World Bank, 2013.
Youth employment in conflict-affected areas
For more information, visit the DCED knowledge page on PSD in Conflict-Affected Environments.
- Youth employment in fragile countries, ECDPM, February 2017.
- Amarasuriya, Gündüz and Mayer (2009) Rethinking the Nexus between Youth, Unemployment and Conflict – Perspectives from Sri Lanka, International Alert.
Youth employment in agricultural and rural areas
- Young Africa Works – Agricultural Transformation in Africa (Summit Report), MasterCard Foundation, 2017.
- Young people, agriculture, and employment in rural Africa, UNU Wider, 2014.
- Agriculture as a Sector of Opportunity for Young People in Africa, World Bank, 2013.
- Africa’s got work to do. Employment prospects in the new century, IMF, 2013.
- Collaborating with Young People in Rural Mountain Areas: A Dynamic Reference Guide on Youth Employment, Aga Khan Foundation, 2011.
Measuring the results of youth employment interventions
- Interventions to Improve the Labour Market Outcomes of Youth: A Systematic Review of Training, Entrepreneurship Promotion, Employment Services and Subsidised Employment Interventions, ILO, August 2016
- Self-employment programmes for young people: A review of the context, policies and evidence, ILO, 2015.
- A youth wage subsidy experiment for South Africa, 3ie Impact Evaluation, 2014.
- Testing What Works in Youth Employment: Evaluating Kenya’s Ninaweza Program, Global Partnership for Youth Employment, 2013.
- Digital Opportunity Trust Internship Programme, MasterCard Foundation, 2013.
- Youth Employment Programs: An Evaluation of World Bank and IFC Support, IEG, 2012.
- Measuring Success of Youth Livelihood Interventions: A Practical Guide to Monitoring and Evaluation, Global Partnership for Youth Employment, 2011.
Other useful resources
- ILO’s What Works in Youth Employment website
- IDB’s Youth Employment Inventory (database of comparative information on youth employment interventions worldwide)
- ILO Youth Employment Programme
- The MasterCard Foundation Youth Learning
- ILO and The MasterCard Foundation Work4Youth
- SDC e&i network resources on vocational skills development