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Youth economic empowerment

Supporting young people to develop the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the world of work

More than 2.9 billion people - nearly half the world's population - are under the age of 25. Plan International believes it is crucial that these young people have the knowledge and skills to succeed in life if we are to break the cycle of poverty.

Ensuring all young people, including the most marginalised and disadvantaged, can unlock their potential through access to decent work will drive progress towards sustainable, inclusive development.

Yet today, some 500 million young people in the developing world are un- or under-employed. The situation is particularly difficult for women and girls, who face even greater challenges in securing productive and fulfilling employment than their male counterparts.

Plan International is committed to tackling this global problem, with over 40 of our Country Offices implementing youth economic empowerment projects, 11 of which are funded by the European Commission.

Our calls to the EU

  • Bearing in mind the scale and urgency of the problem, the EU should develop a policy on youth economic empowerment to support partner countries. This would provide the means for EU action to be targeted at ensuring young people have the opportunities to learn the skills and get the qualifications they need to succeed in the world of work; 
  • The EU should focus on promoting women’s and girls’ rights and gender equality, with specific interventions to increase their access to the labour market, to microfinance and to the economic assets and resources necessary to be active in the labour market, in line with commitments outlined in the EU Action Plan on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality;
  • The EU should promote cooperation and alignment among EU Member States to ensure sharing of best practices and scaling up of initiatives which work; 
  • The EU should work with partner governments, through funding and dialogue, to create opportunities and provide young people with the skills needed to secure decent work.