Despite rapid urbanization in many countries, around 46 per cent of the world’s population, many of them young people, live in rural areas. Young women and men can be catalysts for economic growth and development in rural economies, but only if they have access to decent work. Some of the barriers they typically face include low incomes, hazardous and precarious working conditions, and limited or no access to social protection. Ensuring that rural youth have access to an abundance and variety of quality jobs is not just important for their personal wellbeing, but also key to reducing poverty and achieving global food security in the coming decades.
Investing in decent jobs for rural youth can catalyze economic growth and development in rural economies as a whole. At Decent Jobs for Youth, our approach centres on developing and supporting efficient agribusiness, value chains and entrepreneurship models. Another key focus area is ensuring that young people have access to productive resources, such as land, technology and financial services. These efforts are complemented by strengthening policies and programmes so that the rural economy benefits from a skilled youth labour force and a positive business climate.
The FAO and the ILO are committed to lead this thematic priority. Decent Jobs for Youth brings together a growing number of partners who are committed to boost labour market outcomes and unleash the potential of youth in the rural economy.