Youth unemployment is a worldwide crisis given the combined factors of overpopulation, limited jobs, and limited resources. With immigration to urban centers rising, the issue of how to help youth unemployment becomes a pressing and valid concern.
More youths are returning home to live with their parents than preceding generations. More are finding themselves in a competitive job market for which they have no skills or too little experience.
What should the public and private sector do to address this issue? Where should the solutions start?
There are steps that the society as a whole can do to alleviate the problem. The government can step in, private companies can contribute, and youths, themselves, can find new strategies that may work. Technology is always changing, which means there are always new business opportunities. We have become a small world as social media connects us to the best and brightest minds with one tweet. We can use these advances to create solutions to the growing youth unemployment.
Here are 6 ideas on how to reduce youth employment through entrepreneurship:
1. Create Mechanisms That Rely On Mentorship and Education
Graduating from college to find a limp job market can be discouraging, to say the least. Can this structure be changed? One way is for private companies to recruit students before they finish school. Having them work part-time at the company while in school, and then hire them upon completion of their education. This serves two purposes. One, it guarantees a student a job upon graduation. And two, the student graduates college with experience.
Youths seeking a job will usually find themselves up against a wall. They are unable to find a job as the only job openings require experience and few companies are willing to train them. Working for a company part-time while in school offers a viable solution.
2. Encourage Entrepreneurship
The traditional ways of graduating and then seeking a job can sometimes be discarded. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It simply means there are other ways of landing a job.
How can entrepreneurship solve youth unemployment?
Youth should be encouraged to think about what society needs, create a product for that need, and effectively market it. As the job market is limited, as youths are flocking to already saturated urban centers, youths should be encouraged to create their own entrepreneurship opportunities instead.
No doubt, starting a business is a difficult endeavor which does not come without its own risks. Society has built a support system for this. Crowd-funding, venture capitalists, startup accelerators are just some examples.
Entrepreneurship can come in the form of social media. As an example, this generation has created full-time paid gamers and YouTubers who have carved out new opportunities and social media jobs for themselves. Tapping into social media as an entrepreneurship opportunity are effective ways entrepreneurship can help combat unemployment in youth.
3. Help Them Think Outside Of the Box
Venture capitalists can be significant for youths. They provide the contacts, the experience, and opportunities for youths to learn valued skills. They can also tap into the needs of hungry youths looking for experience. The private sector has the chance to step in and offer opportunities to unemployed youths.
Successful entrepreneurs can provide seed money to youths who have exceptional business ideas. They can hire like-minded youths into their own startup teams.
Startup companies can help combat youth unemployment by seeking fresh blood for new positions.
4. Create A Pathway To Work
Show youths a way that their skills can lead to work. Did they grow up playing basketball? Coaching kids’ basketball could be a possible path to full-time employment. Do they speak two languages? Acting as an interpreter could be a possible job. Hone in on their skills, develop them, and encourage them to seek employment in that specific job area.
Sometimes youths graduate with skill sets that are not particularly useful in the job market. In addition, youths may have a set of skills but not know how to make use of them. A degree in Philosophy doesn’t guarantee a job upon graduation. However, those skills can be applied towards a teaching job in high school or grade school.
In order to create a pathway to work, youths should understand that it is important to learn how to make money doing what they are good at. They should also understand that in order to make money, they need to be very good at what they do.
5. Spread Encouraging Words And Inspiring Stories
We all need someone in our corner, rooting for us. Youths, fresh out of school, need this the most. Successful entrepreneurs should offer networking opportunities as well as forums that shine a light on their journey. Not only will it inspire, it will give youths a map to forge a successful path of their own.
Leaders from companies like Amazon, Paypal, Netflix, and more can teach their communities and encourage the up-and-comers to take similar paths. The best teachers for our youths are successful entrepreneurs.
6. Sponsor Non-profit Organizations In Your Community
A community with entrepreneurs being supportive of youth and local community encourages not only growth but also a productive behavior of people who belong to the community.
Aside from ways you can help youth unemployment mentioned above, you can sponsor or donate to organizations that specifically tackle this issue. Organisations founded for this purpose can create opportunities for young people to engage in training, volunteering or other productive activities.
For instance, in Australia, for the last 56 years, yourtown has been running a variety of projects to help unemployed youth develop skills that they need. They tackle issues like youth unemployment and mental health in youth, through training and a range of activities.
Entrepreneurs can help by sponsoring non-profit organizations running similar projects to yourtown. This type of charitable contributions help better your community, and you can be assured that your contribution is to people who are trying to make a real effort to improve the community.
Is your local community helping youth unemployment? Do you get involved as an entrepreneur in supporting youths in their learning path? Tell us more in the comment section below.