Today, young people are facing a global challenge in the area of underemployment. People over the age of 60 are experiencing the serious health consequences of COVID-19. However, as the new coronavirus is spreading through companies and markets, according to the World Health Organization, young people, who account for about a quarter of the world’s population, are disproportionately at risk from economic consequences. In response to the expansion of the coronavirus, companies cancel conferences and impose travel bans on employees. Cities are taking significant steps to try to mitigate the scale of the outbreak, including canceling large gatherings or events, closing schools, restricting entry.
A disastrous impact on global markets is clear. The negative impact on young workers and small business owners worldwide is likely to be significant. Young people tend to work in seasonal, temporary work and are more likely to work on a contract or part-time basis without health benefits or paid leave. Many primary or lower-level jobs employing young people are in retail and services, e.g. hospitality, food and beverage industries, which are prone to a sudden decline in consumer spending.
To support young people through short-term coronavirus shock, policy-makers should ensure that all social protection measures, such as unemployment insurance or emergency measures such as paid leave, small business loans or debt, including student debt, are covered by young people. At the same time, policy-makers should strive to ensure that young people have access to digital tools and resources, as well as short-term training and courses that could enable them to quickly acquire new skills and receive supplementary income from a growing platform. A further increase in the number of unemployed young people induced by COVID19 will lead to higher profit losses, higher costs and a slower economic recovery.
One of the solutions offered is the involvement of YEEAs workers (Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Activities). In our territory, this is provided mostly by the work of NGOs, e.g. social workers. They support youth employment, young people and families with or without disabilities, by offering an extended formal education, extra classes with dedicated specialization or dual education. They promote social entrepreneurship and international work mobility. In this sense our Youth Impact project is also offering an helping hand.