Youth and employability, SAHWA in Slovenia

What does the #SAHWAYouthSurvey2016 data tell us in a nutshell regarding to “Youth & Employment” in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon?

Currently, there is a feeling of frustration among young people as a result of a multiple marginalisation situation (economic, political and social). In general terms, the main effects of these exclusions are: first of all, a delay to obtain autonomy or to be economically independent (from their parents mainly) and, secondly, to accessing to adulthood (which arrives having a job, the possibility to leave the family home and to marriage).

Actually, the main problems for young people are all those ones related with economic issues. These are: people standard of living, economic situation and jobs. Nevertheless, why is so important the economic situation? Basically, because as young people mention obtaininga job is the key issue for young people to satisfy their main concerns: to win autonomy and to reach adulthood, as said.

How is the current situation of the #ArabYouth? We have to mention that the problems do not occur among all the young people in the same way. These processes affect youth to a greater or lesser degree depending on the young characteristics as: place of residence (country, but also rural or urban areas), gender, education or social background.

As for those who are employed:

           - More than two thirds have no employment contract.

           - In the same level they are not registered for social security (70%).

           - The informal sector appears to employ a majority of young people in the region, which creates situations of vulnerability, job instability and precariousness.

           - At the same time that creates temporary and low quality jobs.

Amongst the unemployed the situation is even harder:

           - 40% have been looking for a job for more than a year.

           - They agree that almost the only way to get one is through family and personal contacts (72% of jobs are found this way, according to the SAHWA Youth Survey 2016), while employment offices have proven to be inefficient or too weak.

Under this context, which is the perception of the youth?

           - In general terms, young people tend to blame the state for not being able to provide them with jobs or, at least, preparing them for the labour market.

           - Furthermore, they tend to consider that education is not a means of mobility anymore; not only does it not guarantee a decent job.

           - Education systems are seen as rigid, too theoretical, and disconnected from the needs of the labour market and not sufficiently focused on providing young people with skills for their professional career. In this regards, poor educational provision is identified as a root cause of the mismatch between supply of and demand for labour.

In general, young people not only have a lot of difficulties to access to the labour market, but also if they finally get an occupation, precariousness and poor conditions of these jobs are the general rule.

*This text corresponds to a presentation on “Youth & Employment - Common Challenges & Opportunities in the Euro-Med Region" by the SAHWA Scientific Coordinator Elena Sánchez-Montijano, based on data from SAHWA Project research, during the EMUNI Annual Conference 2017 in Piran, Slovenia (April 5th-6th).

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