Webinar: Youth Unemployment across the globe

A recent webinar brought key actors from the BITC networks together to discuss this issue and highlight examples of how organisations are tackling youth unemployment across the globe.



Youth unemployment is a global issue, even in countries where unemployment rates are relatively low, youth unemployment presents a higher figure for under 25s. After the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 unemployment rates raised worldwide. Young people were particularly affected by this crisis, the United Nations' International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that the unemployment rate among 15 to 24-year-olds around the world was 13.5 in 2016, which is almost three times higher than the unemployment rate for adults. Young men and women today face increasing uncertainty in their hopes of a fulfilling transition in the labour market, and this uncertainty and disillusionment can, in turn, have damaging effects on individuals, communities, economies and society at large.

Quite rightly, unemployment is also a key measure to monitor whether a country is on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and higher the rate of unemployment or underemployment among young people the harder countries will find it to tackle Global Goals around poverty, inequality and adequate work and economic growth (International Labour Organisation, 2016).

According to a recent McKinsey report found that only 43 per cent of employers can find enough skilled entry-level workers to meet their needs highlighting a disconnect between the skills young people obtain through the education system and the skills needed by employers.

A recent webinar brought key actors from the BITC networks together to discuss this issue and highlight examples of how organisations are tackling youth unemployment across the globe.

Speakers represented:

IHG Academy – an initiative from InterContinental Hotel Group

Global work experience programme which enables thousands of people to get a unique insight into working in the hotel industry and help their chances of gaining full time employment. IHG hotels partner with local education or community groups who identify out of work people and young people in education, to undertake work experience placements.

The programme is flexible to meet hotel and participant needs and can last from 1 day to 1 year and anything in between.

IHG provides tools and resources via IHGacademy.com to help our thousands of hotels globally to get started and celebrate and measure their achievements.

Over 40,000 individuals have benefited from IHG Academy since it began in 2013, many programmes have a specific focus on youth, such as the Youth Career Initiative (YCI).

Youth Career Initiative – part of the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and BITC

YCI enables the hotel sector to support local communities whilst building a pipeline of skilled and motivated talent to recruit from.

YCI’s vision is for all young people anywhere in the world to have the same opportunities for education and employment no matter their background.

The young people YCI supports have faced significant life challenges.

40 per cent of students have to drop out of school early, often to provide for their families. Almost 10% are taken into the care of local organisations dedicated to providing shelter and education to children and young people

ENGAGE Hong Kong from Community Business

ENGAGE is a 6-months English mentorship program held in Hong Kong every year from March to September. It was introduced in 2008 by Community Business to bring together community partners and the private sector to work in collaboration to play an active role in alleviating poverty in Hong Kong. Since 2008, ENGAGE Hong Kong has supported 530 student mentees, engaged 488 volunteer mentors and provided 279 job shadowing opportunities!

Impact on Mentees in 2016:

  • 100 per cent believed that they were provided with positive role models
  • 97 per cent felt that there is a positive impact to their life
  • 97 per cent felt that ENGAGE will help them to build a brighter and more successful future
  • 92 per cent will keep in touch with their mentors after the programme


Key findings