The ILO estimates that some 76 million young women and men were unemployed in 2007, an increase of 14 % from 10 years earlier. Young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults (Global Employment Trends for Youth, October 2008
). One in five youth, or 125 million, are working but live in extreme poverty (less than US$1/day) (Global Employment Trends for Youth 2006
). The issue of youth un (der) employment is a major concern for both industrialized and developing countries.
Skills development is a primary means of enabling young people to make a smooth transition to work. A comprehensive approach is required to integrate young women and men in the labour market, including relevant and quality skills training, labour market information, career guidance and employment services, recognition of prior learning, incorporating entrepreneurship with training and effective skills forecasting. Improved basic education and core work skills are particularly important to enable youth to engage in lifelong learning as well as transition to the labour market.
In many countries formal Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is an option for a small minority of young people. Apprenticeships in the informal economy offer many more young people an opportunity to learn a trade and enter the world of work. While building on existing local apprenticeship institutions, ILO’s research and policy guidance seeks to improve the quality of apprenticeship training, the recognition of acquired skills, working conditions and opportunities for young women and men.