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World's youth fear jobless future

Update: February, 07/2012 - 12:10

UNITED NATIONS – The world's young increasingly fear a future without jobs, according to a UN report released on Monday which highlighted how the 15-30 age group risks becoming the biggest victims of austerity programs.

The young doubt the education they receive will fully arm them for professional life, said the World Youth Report which questioned about 1,000 people for its study.

"Young people questioned the quality of education they and their peers receive, whether or not it is relevant to available jobs, how their knowledge and skills will serve them in the long-term," said the survey.

"During economic downturns, young people are often the 'last in' and the 'first out'" out of jobs, the report added.

The 2008-2009 financial and economic crises forced the youth unemployment rate up to 11.9 in 2007 to 13 percent in 2009. It eased back to 12.6 percent in 2010 – when the adult jobless rate was just 4.8 percent.

The Middle East is worst hit with 25.5 percent unemployment among young menn and 39.4 percent for young women in 2010, followed by North Africa with a 23.8 percent rate for men and 34.1 percent for women.

The report said high unemployment was one of the key causes of the Arab Spring uprisings.

Young people said they found their educational too theoretical and not geared enough to professional life.

"Today it should be easier to find a job because our generation is the mostt educated but there is a inadequacy between the training offered and the needs of the labor market," said Amadou, a 24-year-old from Senegal.

The UN report condemns the restrictive contracts with poor salaries given to first time job seekers.

"Young women are doubly affected as they face not only a lack of opportunities but poor quality of work" with low wages, a lack of security and fewer ways to raise grievances, said Lody, a 25-year-old Cambodian.

The youth criticised a lack of public investment but believe that information technology, health and welfare jobs and the green economy will be boom areas.

"Young people are in general more conscious of global issues like climate change and social equity, I think that promotion of green economies among youth is a winning solution," said Michael, a 23-year-old Italian. AFP

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