19.10.2011 - Youth Drive Change - UNESCO Youth Forum 2011

Youth and employment: The missing puzzle

Mohamed Maouloud, the Mauritanian delegate © UNESCO / Doudou-Bienvenu Kajangu

Although everyone is praising youth for their power and the inspiration they spread around which has awaked the whole world from its nap that might have persisted for quite long time. They opened eyes of the world, made them more vigilant enough that they are not going to accept being puppet players anymore. They are now contributors to the process of policy making rather than just being receivers of change injected into their minds or imposed on them. It's youth who have made their societies vigilant and a vital input in their countries' policies, and without them it would have been very hard that change could have been achieved or even maintained!

Monique Coleman, UN youth champion in her words in the opening of the forum urged everyone not to give up. Simply as we change our clothes everyday, we need to change our ideas, perspectives or even think about them.

Putting differences aside is not enough but to always ask "Why" ..Why these differences happened in the first place? May be because we stopped listening, or may be because people don't recognize differences as gift they should try to use it right.

However youth are facing increasing number of Challenges every single day. Employment barriers can be a perfect example of this. Being hired nowadays in spite of having a high level of educational backgrounds is becoming a hard process.

Mohamed Maouloud, the Mauritanian delegate decided to speak up about one of the toughest problems in his country. He said "Education teach us something but the workplace requires a totally different thing, the demands of the workplace and the inputs injected to supposedly satisfy these demands are not even matching, lack of coordination is the dominant."

Not only this but he complained of the lack of transparency that exists when jobs are announced which ends up with the local citizens especially youth immigrating from their countries looking for a better opportunities elsewhere.

"I don't even understand how could experience exist if they denying us the opportunity to get employed after a long phase of preparing for it. How could we reach the beginning point in our careers' path with no such everywhere desired demand of the experience issue" He added.

Actually there a lot of people who are facing the same barriers everyday just like Mohamed. Some might never lose hope and try to defy it, but others easily surrender. Why such corporations give up this utmost power in youth if they believe in the power they have?

Also in Egypt, many Corporations are practicing discrimination when they require candidates applying for a job to be from specific gender. "Males/Females only has become a familiar phrase that disappoints many."

But it just pointless to put among requirements the gender thing, as it is now even a requirement. You require something I've no control of.

Gender discrimination and experience prerequisites are just the beginning of an endless list that will keep increasing if no one has listened to youth and corporations remained their same strategies. That's why UNESCO's 7th youth forum is an opportunity to open dialogue about such vital topic of employment barriers.

By Hend Sallam, Egyptian Blogger

This article was written by one of the Youth Bloggers of the 7th UNESCO Youth Forum. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of UNESCO.

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