According to recent statistics on unemployment, there are about 73 million youth who are officially registered as unemployed. Keeping in mind that most countries especially in the developing world don’t register their unemployed youth, it’s estimated that this figure could go up to at least 620 million.
These numbers of youth unemployment are significant especially when it comes to sexuality because as we have established, the socio-economic position of a young person is among the determinants of the person’s sexual wellbeing.
Let’s take a look at 4 causes of youth unemployment.
Lack of right skills
There are thousands of colleges globally that are churning out graduates yearly however, when most of these graduates get to the job market, they realize they lack the right skills to fit into today’s job market. This is because school curriculums are not being updated fast enough to keep up and meet the present day needs of employers. This is a problem that is affecting youth in both developed and underdeveloped countries. This inability of young people to transition from college to work due to lack of the right skills is therefore a big contributor to youth unemployment.
Lack of entrepreneurship skills
The world has been very slow to respond to the challenge of youth unemployment. In spite of data indicating that there aren’t enough jobs in the market for the millions of youth graduating from high schools and colleges around the world, there hasn’t been sufficient emphasis on imparting entrepreneurial skills on young people so that they can have the option of self-employment as opposed to expecting a white collar job after school. Most youth therefore end up lacking sufficient skills to start income generating enterprises.
Lack of sufficient capital
There are a number of youth who are entrepreneurial in nature and would be in a position to start their own businesses as opposed to wallowing in unemployment. However, most of them will lack sufficient capital to start these enterprises. There are not many financial institutions out there ready to offer such enterprising young people with loans to start their businesses and if they are, these loans are seldom affordable. According to the World Bank, less than one per cent of loan portfolios of financial institutions are allocated to young people under the age of 30.
The digital divide
The world today has literally gone digital, as most of the day to day services that people seek are now being accessed digitally. For employment, this therefore means that most professions will now require a person to be digitally savvy. However, not everyone is privileged enough to get the opportunity to acquire digital skills. This is especially true for a number of low-income countries, which not only lack skills but also access to the internet and other technologies. Young people from such countries therefore end up being disadvantage and can’t compete for opportunities in the job market.
A good international programme on sexuality will therefore need to find ways of addressing the problem of youth unemployment if they are to register lasting success in addressing the sexuality issues of the youth.
We invite you to share with us your experiences on youth and sexuality. Let’s join hands to transform the lives of our youth.