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One in five young people in the world are out of school, without a job or training

In professional jargon, they are called NEETs ("Neither in Employment or Education or Training"). They are young people who are out of school, without any job or training.

According to the report of the International Labor Organization (ILO), published on Wednesday, one in five young people worldwide is in this situation. "In all, that represents 250 million of them"says Stefan Kühn, lead author of the report. Between 2005 and 2018, the percentage of NEETs among young people aged 15 to 24 declined by only 2.5 percentage points to 21.2%. Also, for the Geneva-based Organization, it is unlikely that any of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the UN in September 2015 – namely the "Considerable reduction" the proportion of young people with this status by 2020- will be missed.

ILO employment trends in the world

No country can claim to have achieved significant results in this area. Neither among young women nor among young men. In addition, the former are more affected by this phenomenon of exclusion. "Worldwide, 30% of young women and 13% of young men" belong to this category in 2018.

For the ILO, this is a major challenge as, in the long term, a high rate of NEET is a big handicap for the growth of the economy. High tuition fees prevent young people from emerging countries from attending university, discouraged by the difficulties of entering the labor market like Italy, all in an environment where employers feel they can not find the levels of qualifications required for their needs, many factors explain the tragedy of these young people.

Emerging countries affected

Depending on the regions analyzed, the situation differs. The fifty or so countries listed as low-income emerging countries, such as India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Kenya and Egypt, record the worst results. The gap between the situation of young women and young men is greatest. For example, in 2017, the proportion of young women out of school, unemployed and untrained reached nearly 32% in Algeria and about 35% in Egypt. In both countries, the proportion of young men in the same situation was 10 points lower than that of women. "In poor countries, the situation is less dramatic. All members of a family are encouraged to work to escape poverty. Whether in the informal or part-time sector "says Stefan Kühn.

The rate of young people listed as NEET in the world - ILO
The rate of young people listed as NEET in the world – ILO

Another finding of the ILO: some rich countries suffer a deterioration of their situation. In Canada, the proportion of NEETs aged 20 to 24 has increased over the last decade, approaching 15% in 2016 (up from 13% in 2006). In the United States, among high school graduates, especially among 16-19 year olds, the proportion rose from 8.2% in 1998 to 12.4% in 2014. In the European Union, the Netherlands with a rate of 3% show the best situation in front of Switzerland and Germany (6%). In contrast, Spain, Great Britain and France (about 11%) are far behind.

Three million in France

Recently, the OECD had revealed that France has 3 million people aged 15 to 34 in this situation. Of this total, 40% are young people with an immigrant background. INSEE, meanwhile, advance 2.85 million NEET between 15 and 34 years. This represents an inactivity rate of 18.1% for this age group.

Richard Hiault


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