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Strategies to improve Youth Transition Policy

The world of work continues to be affected by the evolving dynamics of the pandemic, which continues to widen disparities among young people. The 8th Edition of the ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work reports lagging and uncertain recovery, with young people suffering greater employment deficits. Prospects for labour market recovery continue to look weak and uncertain in the coming years.

While young people continue to be disproportionately affected by the economic crises, there have been clear gendered impacts of the crises. Women continue to face disproportionate job loss and declines in labour-force participation due to increased caregiving responsibilities. LGBTQ youth also suffer from stigma and vulnerability to workforce discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). They continue to be at risk of economic insecurities, disproportionate economic hardships, and unemployment. Young people with disabilities encounter a multitude of challenges in the workplace, including societal stigma, lack of special or supportive facilities in workplaces that would allow them to take up employment, and unwillingness of employers to accommodate people with special needs.

The pandemic has also highlighted deep-rooted inequalities in the employment market. Black and ethnic minority youth continue to face a wide range of employment challenges due to discrimination, bias, prejudice, and racism. The ILO Brief, Update on the youth labour market impact of the COVID- 19 crises, reveals the falls in youth employment with an increase in the rate of young people not in employment, education or training (the NEET rate).


Varying multidimensional factors continue to constrain youth transitioning to employment: from unpaid caregiving responsibilities impeding women's workforce participation, to discrimination due to sexual orientation and gender identity, racial disparities affecting black, indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) youth, to obstacles in accessing decent work for people with disabilities.

Severe disruption in education due to school closures and unequal access to online learning has widened disparities in learning. Obsolete and irrelevant educational curricula and practices for youth in school continues to impede suitable skills training and experience. Changes in job entry requirements has made transition from school to work harder, with longer qualifying periods. Increased demand for advanced and highly-skilled individuals continues to pose greater challenges for young labour market entrants, which further leads to inactivity, unemployment, underemployment, exemption from labour market participation, and redundancy.

The economic conditions have led to an upsurge in temporary and part time contracts, unstable and insecure jobs, high competition for jobs available, and lower paying jobs. Reluctance of employers to return to full-time and permanent employment models has increased reduced earnings, temporary furlough and job uncertainty. These constraints continue to influence and cause long lasting impacts on career trajectories, future employment, competition for jobs and earnings prospects of young people.