Protection and Support for the Young Employment across G20 Areas

Writers: Mutiara Dania & Weilie Winaldy 

As the annual meeting for the leaders for the world biggest economy, the G20 (Group of 20) presidency nearly approaching as  the premier forum for international cooperation on the most important issues of the global economic and financial agenda, one of the current economic problems that must be discussed immediately is the difficulty to dealing with the job insecurity within youth community in the international world. According to the data of Global Employment Trends for the Youth 2020, before the outbreaks of Covid-19 pandemic, Statistically proven that the Global Youth Unemployment stood at 13,6 Percent, by comparison one out of five young people were not in education, employment, or training. Approximately that young people are three times more likely to be unemployed with the large youth populations and market labor rigidity making this problem more likely to disadvantage prevalent in developing countries. Job insecurity is a common cause for concern among young people because the scarring effect of poor - quality jobs can have a long - lasting impact on young people’s employment prospects for life by perpetuating a downward spiral of low skills and wages that could lead to being caught in a snare of insecurity and poverty. 

Currently, many young people are stuck in unstable and less fulfilling jobs. Many found themselves in low-paying informal sectors with less secure and assurance of liability for their living. Subsequently, Young people are continuing to drop out of the labor force. Despite the fact that the global youth population increased from 1 billion to 1.3 billion between 1999 and 2019, the total number of young people in the labor force (employed or jobless) declined from 568 million to 497 million. While this trend reflects rising secondary and tertiary enrollment, which has resulted in a more educated workforce in many nations, it also underlines the vast number of young people who are not in employment, education, or training (NEET). This implies they are not obtaining work experience, earning money, or improving their education and abilities. Clearly, their full potential is not being realized, even if many, particularly young women, are contributing to the economy through unpaid labor. NEET status affects twice as many young women as it does young males over the world. In places like Southern Asia and the Arab States, where social and cultural traditions preclude women from seeking education or working outside the home, the gender divide is even more severe (International Labour Organization, 2020).

It has come to our understanding that NEET is the main cause of the current youth unemployment. Several contributing factors in inadequate youth employment conditions can be explained, for example the domestic economic downturn. Economic downturn might not affect the employed adult as much as the young people. Incompatible taxation and welfare systems further drove the youth into hardship financially because of this. Not only economic downturn, but discrimination also play the role in youth employment as well. First, it is critical to think of young people as individuals in order to properly realize the reasons why they are driven into NEET status, especially if we want to obtain a deeper knowledge of why some adolescents struggle more than others in the labor market. Gender, racial identity, cultural identity, ethnicity, and religions are few of many factors that influence how youth navigate and are treated in the labor market. Because discrimination exists in the labor market, and it frequently affects youth's labor market outcomes, forcing them into NEET status, these variables should be given due consideration (Kutsyuruba, 2019). Regardless, combined with the current pandemic situation, the severity of these factors further amplified, driving even more uncertainty for the future of youth employment.

In line with the commitment of The G20 Labor and Employment Ministers to reduce 15 percent of the share of young people who are most at risk of being permanently left behind in the labor market through the introduction of Antalya Goals in 2015 and the promotion of the G20 Youth Roadmap by 2025 in 2020. One of the efforts of countries of the G20 is by making a smoother transition from school to the labor market in the Education Working group advocated by The Italian Presidency 2021. The Y20 Engagement Group previously held in Italy has made a strong commitment to develop national frameworks by 2030 to establish protection for vulnerable and emerging sectors to ensure social, legal, health, and economic security to the fullest extent possible in response to making social safety nets for informal and non-standard forms of employment that have been at the center of debates in recent years  in a form of a policy recommendations. 

Opportunities arise as by promoting young people to safety nets is a way of protecting all workers regardless of employment status. By involving such stakeholders in  social safety net provision, the availability of digital technologies and infrastructure, tailored income support for youth, and strong government leadership can strengthen the protection of young workers in informal and non-standard employment across the G20. These good opportunities can demonstrate a possibility to implement better social protection systems that could protect the vulnerable against livelihood risks. By recognizing the leverage power of organizations and engaging with them can enable young people to design their own solutions and provide them with a fast and flexible way to deliver support until there is a more permanent mechanism in place. 

As for now, apart from all the efforts made, it is fair to say that the G20 has made some good progress, but improvements are indeed as important to make as well. The G20 countries, in particular, must continue to modernize their labor markets. The labor markets of the G20 countries have faced hardships to recover from the financial crisis during the last decade. The G20 countries must look beyond the current recovery to prepare their labor markets for the changes that technology and automation will bring to how people work, what industries produce, and how work is organized. Each G20 country must embark on substantial labor market reforms in order to confront these difficulties head on. 

While the suggestions of skills and training have been broadly adopted by G20 governments, corporations' persistent appeals for supporting varied kinds of employment in order to open up and create more dynamic labor markets are cause for concern. This is an issue that the G20 must address. In terms of skills, it is critical that the G20 governments maintain momentum in order to handle the new and impending difficulties that the future of work will bring. Digitalization and technology offer many benefits, but they also pose a threat to people who will be, or have already been, left behind. With the help of corporate and social partners Governments in the G20 must ensure that the existing and future workforces are equipped with the necessary skills, and that suitable measures are in place to combat youth unemployment. 

Moreover, stronger policy execution at the national level will be critical in the future to strengthen G20 employment and labor outcomes. This research demonstrates that national follow-up on important agreements has occurred to some extent, but that there is still space for improvement. Greater engagement of social partners, for example, is a crucial next step for G20 countries, as these partners are not only critical in ensuring that NEPs accurately represent labor market difficulties, but they are also important allies in NEP implementation. The G20 states must acknowledge that rigorous execution is critical to the G20 process's success.

As we have mentioned above, as a major economic and social issue of productive employment and decent work for youth, inequalities in job opportunities and income are a significant barrier for young people to sustain the economic growth and may have a possibility of serious long-term ramifications. The Covid -19 pandemic exposes deep-seated inequality, leaving countries at a crossroads where they need to leap to provide comprehensive compensation to all young workers, regardless of employment status. As a response to this crisis, governments of the G20 countries have to deal with another challenge of developing alternative employment channels that take into account the needs and hopes of young people. It is very likely that the government will fulfill its promise to reduce youth unemployment by taking a step further. The challenge goes beyond providing a social safety net for informal and atypical forms of work to ensure equal access to the social entrepreneurial spirit of young people while at the same time plagued the young labor market. A cross-cutting approach that incorporates the experience of the most marginalized people in society can further deepen our understanding of the underlying characteristics and conditions of labor market inequality. In addition, the implementation of stronger national-level policies will be essential to strengthen the G20's employment and workforce outcomes. For youth employment to be truly inclusive, policies aimed at providing youth with good opportunities must meet the needs of all, regardless of their circumstances. All young people deserve productive employment and decent work and can start the best possible working life.


G20. (2022). Youth Employment in the G20. Y20 Summit 2022 White Paper, 1–34.

ILO (2020). An update on the youth labor market impact of the COVID-19 crisis. https://www.ilo.org/emppolicy/pubs/WCMS_795479/lang--en/index.htm 

International Labour Organization. (2020). Global Employment Trends for Youth 2022. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_737648.pdf

Kutsyuruba, B. & et al. (2019). Needs of NEET youth: Pathways to positive outcomes.


Leave a comment