Millions of unemployed youths in Arab world

Arab ministers at EU-sponsored meeting in Jordan

19 September, 17:20

(ANSAmed) - ROME, SEPTEMBER 19 - Over one year and a half after youth unemployment sparked the Arab Spring, finding work to the millions of unemployed under the age of 30 is one of the greatest challenges confronting Arab Mediterranean countries. Nine Arab ministers are meeting in Jordan on September 25 to discuss the issue, which according to the most recent European data is a real social catastrophe. The talks, which are organized by the EU agency European Training Foundation (EFT) will be attended by Arab labour and education ministers along with their counterparts from Italy and Cyprus to discuss the future of the region - first and foremost the after-school training helping youths get a job.

Data provided by the European Training Foundation, which is organizing the meeting, showed that the issue of unemployment is worsened by the fact that some 60% of the population in Arab Mediterranean countries is under the age of 30 and by 2020 this age group is expected to reach100 million.

Currently at least 30 million youths who have low qualifications or none at all have mediocre, low-paid jobs and are often moonlighting. The region has the highest number of unemployed under 30 worldwide - on average over 25% - with Tunisia topping the list (42%). Women fare even worse - one in four doesn't have a job- and university graduates have more difficulties in finding a job than those with a lower education.

According to the World Bank, 42% of companies in the region blame schools saying they do not prepare youths to meet the demands of the labour market. The situation of young people who do not attend school and are not actively looking for a job also raises concerns - a group which in some countries represents 40% of youths. (ANSAmed).

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