What is Decent Jobs for Youth?

Across the world, many groups and organizations are working to ensure that young people have access to decent work. Decent Jobs for Youth is the global initiative that brings these groups together as partners to achieve this common goal. Working as an alliance, we can unify fragmented efforts and scale up impact to create sustainable positive change for young people everywhere.

Decent Jobs for Youth is the catalyst for globally harmonized action on youth employment, in line and at scale with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is a platform for promoting evidence-based strategies and interventions, a space for highlighting progress and sharing knowledge, and a hub for cooperation and collaboration.

Who we are

Decent Jobs for Youth is an alliance of multiple partners both within and beyond the United Nations. Our partners include several agencies, funds and programmes of the UN system, and a growing number of governments, social partners, businesses, youth organizations, foundations, academic institutions, media outlets and more.

What we do

We identify and promote effective, innovative and evidence-based strategies and interventions to tackle the youth employment challenge.  We advocate for high-level commitments from stakeholders all over the world. By leveraging knowledge, partnerships and resources, we maximize the value of youth employment investments, scale up action and increase impact at local, national and regional level.

Youth in the 2030 Agenda

Decent work, particularly for young people, is a key component across the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. As a UN-led initiative, Decent Jobs for Youth is uniquely positioned to assist countries in delivering on these goals.


By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training


By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization


In October 2014, the United Nations High-Level Committee on Programmes selected youth employment as a prototype for an issue-based initiative that would mobilize the capacity of the United Nations and global actors committed to more and better jobs for youth. Positive collaboration of numerous United Nations entities led to the development of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, which was endorsed by the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination and subsequently launched by the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in February 2016, under the auspices of the ECOSOC Youth Forum. Under ILO lead, the following entities of the United Nations work collaboratively since 2015 to develop the strategy of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth and lay the groundwork for its implementation.

Founding partners