The global youth unemployment rate increased to 12.4% in 2012 and has continued to grow to 12.6% in 2013. With nearly 74 million young people unemployed worldwide, youth-guarantees programs may help keep youth connected to the labor market by boosting skills and giving them support to find jobs.
Rwanda must strategically develop its youth to be the drivers of its economic growth. The Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2), Rwanda’s plan to reach medium-term development over the next five years, states that youth employment is one of the four thematic areas on which EDPRS2 will focus — the others being economic transformation, rural development, and accountable governance.
The target of EDPRS 2 is to create at least 200,000 new jobs annually. This can be accomplished by developing skills through reform of the national education curricula, strengthening technical and vocational training, promoting technology, stimulating entrepreneurship, and increasing access to finance.
Many young people graduate with high hopes of getting a job, but they don’t really know how it works. They don’t know how to apply for a job or write a resume. It can take up to six months or longer to find a job, and even when found, it’s likely to be part-time or temporary.
The government has to make building bridges between young people and jobs a priority. The youth have the right to learn how to write a CV, to see if they have the ability to start a new business, and to get coached on how to meet employers. They should receive help acquiring internships and work practices so they can gain experience, make contacts, and try different kinds of jobs. Youth guarantees can prevent permanent disconnect from the labor market in times of crisis.