A young man works with a sewing machine. Millions of youth are currently out of work. Photo by: Daniel Gruener / Inter-American Development Bank

A new alliance of public and private institutions aims to put the spotlight on youth unemployment, a problem that cuts across developed and developing countries. Around the world, millions of young people are currently without work.

The U.S. State Department launched the Youth Livelihoods Alliance Tuesday (Oct. 2). The government agency was joined by the alliance’s other founding members: Hilton Worldwide, Microsoft, MasterCard Worldwide, Caterpillar, Manpower, Laureate International Universities and the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank.

Among the alliance’s planned activities are facilitating the exchange of best practices and tested models on workforce development, skills training, jobs creation, corporate social responsibility and sustainable programming, and convening stakeholders to develop “practical and innovative solutions” to the challenge of youth unemployment, according to a fact sheet.

Stakeholders shared three commitments: hiring young people, developing their skills and creating job opportunities for them. Interested institutions are also expected to commit to these three goals.

But while the alliance has laid out plans for creating jobs, it isn’t clear how it intends to ensure the quality of available jobs, a factor highlighted in the 2013 World Development Report. During the launch of the report, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim underscored how a “good” and “right” job can change lives and transform societies.

Nearly 75 million young people are without work, according to 2011 statistics from the International Labor Organization. There is “uncertainty” over the figure, however, and the numbers should be taken with a “grain of salt,” ILO Employment Trends Unit Chief Ekkehard Ernst told BBC.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.