Brussels, 14 April, 2016. Unemployment rates in the region remain high (12%), and persistently higher for women and young people who are still the most vulnerable members of society. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the youth activity rate for the region is slightly over 30% compared to a world average of 50%. The region has the highest average rate of youth unemployment in the world for those active (29.5% in 2014) with an increasing trend over the last decade (ILO, 2015a).
The UfM High Level Working Group on Employment and Labour (HLWG) met on 14 April in Brussels to prepare the ground for the 3rd UfM Ministerial Meeting on Employment and Labour, set to take place on 26 September 2016 in Jordan.
Participants took stock of the actions implemented throughout 2015 and analysed the outcomes of the two ad hoc working groups on job creation and social dialogue, both created in January 2015 during the previous meeting of the HLWG. The UfM Secretariat has actively participated in the ad hoc working group on job creation to prepare the upcoming Ministerial Meeting and its Ministerial declaration.
The joint GIZ-UfM project “YouMatch – Toolbox Project” was also presented during the meeting. The project comes under the Mediterranean Initiative for Jobs (Med4Jobs), in particular under its pillar for Job Intermediation. Med4Jobs is a UfM project-based, cross-sector initiative aimed at promoting and replicating effective and visible job creation projects, increasing the employability of young people and women, helping to bridge the gap between labour demand and supply and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and private sector development. Med4Jobs also serves as a regional platform for dialogue on employment, sharing of best practices, promoting stakeholders’ interaction and collaboration.
Youth employability and job creation is a fundamental priority of the UfM as a driving force for human development, stability and integration in the Euro-Med region.