“Policies and programmes […] shall be formulated and implemented in co-operation with employers' and workers' organisations and, as appropriate and in accordance with national law and practice, with other interested bodies”

Human Resources Development Convention (N° 142), 1975


The promotion of youth employment through an integrated and coherent approach lends itself to and requires concerted and sustained action by several actors. The participation of employers’ and their organizations in the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes for youth employment has proven critical. Employers’ and their organizations can contribute to enhance the relevance of interventions and make them more respondent to labour market requirements. It also means that they are stakeholders in the process and are therefore committed to the success of interventions. Employers’ actions to promote youth employment can take different forms.

  • A first step for employers seeking to promote youth employment is to understand the youth national labour market. Research on youth employment issues, specifically with regard to private sector needs concerning skills and job requirements can contribute significantly to build a knowledge base. This is important to create a solid foundation for employers’ and their organizations' involvement in policy and programme development.

  • Employers’ and their organizations can participate in different bodies to support youth employment. Opportunities for employers’ participation and representation exist on a variety of policy, consultative and administrative boards and committees such as national tripartite policy-making bodies dealing with vocational education and training and job creation. Bodies organized on a tripartite basis are an important platform to establish partnerships between employers’ and workers’ organizations and the governments.

  • Employers’ and their organizations also play a key role in policy and programme development and implementation through social dialogue and collective bargaining.


Advocacy and the promotion of decent work for youth is one of the three pillars of ILO’s plan of action to promote pathways to decent work for youth as called upon by the resolution concerning youth employment adopted at the International Labour Conference in 2005. Employers, through their organizations, have a major role to play in this domain.  

  • They can contribute to generating, sharing and disseminating information particularly in those countries where the youth employment challenge is most acute and information is scarce.
  • They can also raise awareness on youth employment issues by contributing to the development and implementation of promotional campaigns and mobilizing support around youth employment issues.
  • Lobbying is a core function of most employers’ organizations, especially of governments and bureaucracies. The public release of reports, position papers and press statements can form valuable contributions of employer lobbying for youth employment.


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