Youth Employment, Job Rights Keys To Economic Recovery, Says New Un

kristy Reforming Global Finance, SRI/ESG News

CHIEF New York, Oct 1 2012 12:05PM With youth accounting for more than
one-third of the world’s 200 million unemployed, Guy Ryder, the new
Director-General of the United Nations International Labour Organization
(ILO), has called for programmes that specifically target getting young
people into jobs.

“All of the evidence shows that if a young person is out of work for a year
or more at the beginning of their career, that affects them throughout their
working life,” Mr. Ryder
<“–en /index.htm”>said as he took the helm at the Geneva-based ILO today following
his election in May.

“There’s no way back for most of them. So we have to act urgently, we have
to act now and we have to target young people.”

Mr. Ryder said the ILO intended make youth employment “one of the
priorities” in the coming months, adding that programmes offering youth work
experience or training held promise and should be explored as one way of
helping the 75 million unemployed young people find work.

“Sounds expensive? It’s affordable,” said Mr. Ryder, a former General
Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation. “It’s an
investment, not a cost.”

On the wider jobs crisis, Mr. Ryder highlighted that ILO can play a crucial
role in helping global policymakers seek inclusive solutions as part of a
social dialogue.

“Where people come together and find solutions which may require some pain,
some sacrifice on their behalf, they’re much more willing to do so if
they’ve been a party to reaching an agreement than simply on the receiving
end of somebody else’s decision,” he said.

Mr. Ryder also emphasized the international nature of the crisis, and argued
that only an international response could adequately tackle it.

“This crisis needs to be treated on the scale that it exists, the global
level,” he said. “We have to construct global solutions. There will at the
end be no sustainable national solutions to a world crisis.”

But while Mr. Ryder said job creation was a clear goal, the question of job
quality was also a critical issue – not only for individuals but also for
the global economy.

“Rights at work are essential to recovery,” he said. “I think we should not
be led into the belief that creating more jobs means jettisoning
international labour standards.”

Mr. Ryder pointed to statistics showing that half of Europe’s poor
households are dependent on one wage earner in the family. That underlined
the importance of creating more quality jobs, he argued.

“Standards provide the rules of the game in the world economy and they are a
very important part of getting out of this crisis,” he said.
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