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06.02.2012 Press Release

UN REPORT: WORLD YOUTH VOICE CONCERN OVER EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS AND CALL FOR INVESTMENT INCREASE

By United Nations
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New York, 6 February 2012 — Young people around the world are deeply
concerned about a lack of job opportunities and are calling for an
increase in investment in this area, according to the latest World
Youth Report, issued today by the United Nations.

In the aftermath of the economic crisis, the global youth unemployment
rate saw its largest annual increase on record in 2009, resulting in
around 75.8 million unemployed youth. “Today we have the largest
generation of young people the world has ever known,” said UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “They are demanding their rights and a greater
voice in economic and political life. We need to pull the UN system
together like never before to support a new social contract of job-rich
economic growth. Let us start with young people.”

For the first time, inputs gathered from young people around the world
through an extensive online consultation form the core of the report,
entitled Youth Employment: Youth Perspectives on the Pursuit of Decent
Work in Changing Times. The report, published by the UN Department of
Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), also outlines the situation of
young people in the labour market and youth employment
trends.

Young people and representatives of youth-led organizations were
invited to share through digital and social media platforms their
views, experiences and recommendations on preparing for, entering, and
remaining active in the workforce. A total of approximately 1,100
contributions (as well as photos and videos) were received from young
people around the world during the four-week consultation period.
The report reveals that young people are worried about the quality and
relevance of their education, as mentioned by Amadou, a 24-year-old man
from Senegal: “Today it should be easier to find a job because our
generation is the most educated but there is an inadequacy between the
training offered and the needs of the labour market.” Other subjects of
concern include job vulnerability, labour migration, delayed
marriage, and the rural divide, as well as age, gender and racial
discrimination.

But opportunities offered by green jobs, new technologies and
entrepreneurship contribute to providing hope to young people, who also
underline the need to be proactive and keep a positive outlook in order
to find decent jobs, as expressed by Leo, 28 years old, from Spain: “We
need to innovate, to risk, to create, to search.”

Through this process, participants also had the opportunity to interact
online with UN Youth Champion Monique Coleman, and the Special Advisor
on Global Youth Issues to the United States Secretary of State, Ronan
Farrow, about their own experience and advice.

The report is available in English online at www.unworldyouthreport.org
where, for the first time, readers are invited to interact and share
their reactions.

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