ILO Asia-Pacific Working Paper Series - Local Economic Development and Youth Employment in the Philippines: The Case of Marikina City

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Youth unemployment and the difficulty of transiting from school to work has been a persistent and significant problem not just in the Philippines, but throughout the Southeast Asia and Pacific region. A number of policy and programme initiatives have been introduced to address youth unemployment problems including provision of labour market information, skills training and upgrading, online job-matching, nurturing of entrepreneurship skills, etc. All these initiatives benefit from the political will of different stakeholders and often require both large sum of money (usually taken from national budget appropriations where they have to compete against other urgent priorities) as well as human resources and the energy to sustain each initiative. Despite all these programmes, the problem of youth unemployment persists. This might lead one to pose questions such as: “are we doing the right thing?”, “what types of youth-orientedand labour market initiatives would lead to employment creation?” and so forth. In order to ensure these initiatives and reforms impact on young people and their lives in a positive and tangible manner, there is a need for a greater understanding of the nature of the environment that such initiatives are designed to address. As well as understanding the dynamics of the labour market, an important first step is to know the current profile of young people entering the workforce for the first time. This study is a response to that need and was commissioned by the International Labour Organization (ILO) through the Promoting Youth Employment in the Philippines (PYEP): Policy and Action Project to assist policy makers (especially those operating within local government units who interact most often with young people needing work) in analyzing the real situation of the youth today in their locality: their needs, aspirations, and constraints, etc. so that officials and social workers can target and prioritize particular youth groups in greatest need, better address the problems they face and craft value-for-money solutions, measures, and/or youth investment options.

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