Unemployment in any form is a drag on an economy and society. It undercuts productivity, spending, and investment, stunting national growth. It contributes to inequality and spurs social tension. Joblessness and inactivity and the failure to tap into the economic aspirations and resources of young people carry an even higher price.
The Arab spring was partly associated with frustration among youth vis-à-vis the lack or absence of merit-based hiring in the public and formal private sector. In all ENP South countries, unemployment or poor quality employment may have a particularly strong political and social. The exclusion of youth from central societal sectors generates tremendous social and economic costs to the society and may even lead to social and political unrest.
In order to provide more opportunity for young people in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia the participants proposed to work together with local governments and associations towards the creation of a “Local Social Innovation Ecosystem” , with the objective of empowering local communities and providing more opportunities (in the form of jobs or apprenticeship) for disadvantaged youth to foster social inclusion.
A space for conversations between involved actors, not least the Ministries for education and for employment will be created in the form of a policy dialogue workshop. Our ambition is to have young people feeding this dialogue and we hope to engage them via local actors in the countries concerned. The specific objective of this action is to provide concrete proposals in support of youth employment for future bilateral cooperation programmes with Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.