HLPF 2019 - Trade unions denounce dire labour perspective for youth on World Youth Skills Day

The ITUC Deputy General Secretary Mamadou Diallo spoke at the ILO’s side event on “Learning to Learn for Life and Work”, which marked the international World Youth Skills Day. In his intervention, Diallo denounced the dire labour perspective that young people are facing today and brought tangible examples of how trade unions are working to change this situation.

Mamadou Diallo went directly down to brass tacks and cast the spotlight on the dire labour perspectives that young people are facing today across the world. He depicted a reality of increasing youth unemployment, worsening working conditions and a surge in informal jobs. All these elements are setting the ground for a world of injustice and exploitation.

He also mentioned the unfair double punishment that young women suffer from as they are facing these very conditions with the additional handicap of the persistent gender wage gap.

To redress the balance, Diallo called for an industrial policy that is tailored to the education system and to the needs of the economy. He also insisted on the fact that young people do not want flexible jobs but crave, as anyone else, for secure and decent jobs.

Mamadou Diallo’s intervention was based in four pillars: 1) The role of an educational systems to provide skills to master technology and ensure workers’ protection; 2) The social cost risks that are linked to the future of work; 3) The link of “people-centred rights-based approach” with skills training; and 4) The relevance of ethics and privacy in digital education programmes.

To showcase the link between people-centred rights-based approach and skills traning, Diallo presented the example of Germany’s dual system of vocational training. This system acts as an important driver for the German economy and for young people entering the labour market. A tripartite body composed of trade unions, employers and government representatives are steering this programme with the objective of improving and strengthening dual training through increasing the number of apprenticeship places and smoothening the transition from school to training. In addition the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB) has also worked actively to ensure that opportunities to start an apprenticeship are extended to young people coming from disadvantaged groups.

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