12 August 2021
Category : Reportage
On the occasion of International Youth Day we highlight the work of Spanish and European cooperation programmes to promote youth development worldwide
Though less vulnerable to infection, the under-24 population has been greatly affected by the impact of the pandemic: lockdown, the closing of schools, children’s’ centres and those serving adolescents and young people. Work wise, according to the International Labour Organization, one in six young people is unemployed due to the crisis caused by COVID-19. A situation that has contributed to exacerbating inequalities, leaving behind the most vulnerable in this group.
Children and adolescents are the present and future of society. Therefore, it is essential to adapt public policies to their needs, particularly those aimed at promoting youth employment. We at FIIAPP encourage the exchange of experiences and cooperation to promote public policies aimed at sustainable development that take young people into account. How do we go about this?
EUROsociAL+ supports the exchange of experiences and technical assistance to enable countries to provide the same opportunities to their entire young population in a crisis context. Through this FIIAPP-led European programme numerous activities have been undertaken targeting young people: promoting the prevention of teenage pregnancy in Panama, facilitating the access of young people to the labour market, or promoting the social work performed by university students as a lever for social inclusion. The foregoing are just a few examples of the dedication of EUROsociAL+ to creating public policies targeting a priority group such as Latin American youth.
The SOCIEUX+ project also works to enhance youth employability. In Peru, for example, over 20,000 people have received training in different areas of knowledge such as IT, sales, administration, etc. The programme has contributed to this training by collaborating in updating the training model in skills for employability together with the Ministry for Labour and Employment Promotion. This training will enable them with to break into the labour market more effectively.
Another of the activities undertaken by SOCIEUX+ in Peru involves promoting youth employment in the forestry sector. This initiative seeks to foster employment for youth that is green and sustainable over time; which will be formal, decent and of high quality. Moreover, promoting this type of employment seeks to improve the conditions of the young population to avoid regional emigration caused by the lack of opportunities. Lastly, it endeavours to put an end to the poverty being caused by an activity exclusively focused on cutting down forests, often illegally, and transporting the wood outside the region. The programme also plans to embark on another action targeting young people in Mauritania. In this case, work will be carried out to train young businessmen and businesswomen in Mauritania and to support entrepreneurship.
Looking ahead to the next few years, at FIIAPP we will be working together with AECID and the British Council on a new project in Tunisia aimed at boosting the social and economic inclusion of the vulnerable members of Tunisian youth. The country’s youth carry important demographic weight. Young people under 35 years of age constitute 57% of the population. Despite this, and almost a decade after the 2011 revolution, a large part of Tunisian youth continues to be excluded from the political agenda and economic opportunities.
The EU4Youth for Tunisia programme seeks to strengthen local governance through more inclusive, transparent, efficient and participatory actions; to enhance the capacities of the part of Tunisian civil society involved in culture and sports, to increase the professional integration and employability of vulnerable members of the country’s youth, and to promote business creativity in culture and sports.
Unless the youth is provided with the right conditions to grow and develop, society will not advance either. Accordingly, in a context in which young people are increasingly vulnerable, public policies need to be redirected and adapted to their needs. Thinking of young people is looking to the future.
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