Youth Unemployment in ASEAN

Youth Unemployment in ASEAN

Hor Huyteang
The World Bank reports that youth unemployment rate of the Southeast Asia region consists of 13.56% of the total labor force and age 15-24, in 2016.

This high figure causes a major concern among top leaders of ASEAN since it is believe to have affected on


the political, social and economic development of ASEAN.

Inside Investor looked at the unemployment rates in ASEAN nations and saw that unemployment rate in Cambodia reaches 7.9 % at the first quarter of 2013 followed by 7.1% of the
Philippines, 6.3% of Indo-nesia, 2.29% of Vietnam, 2.1% of Singapore, 2.7% of Brunei and 0.63 % of Thailand
Despite this figure flatters ASEAN, yet if compared to the jobless population in certain EU countries, such as Spain and Greece with around 27 %, which

is event greater than the US jobless counted during the Great Depression.
It is noticeable that many of ASEAN countries do not have proper means or mechanisms to record a comprehensive data of the unemployed or employed especially among youth. So, the reality could be a bit larger than presented in statistic of International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2012.
ILO also points a number of factors attributed to the unemployment rates. That includes skills mismatch, persistent of gender gaps, residing in rural and very

far isolated areas, youth with disabilities and HIV.
Youth unemployment can lead to the economic loss, increase of crimes, social unrest, mental health issue and violence and drug ab-used. If we see it closer the unemployment affects an economic growth since there is a low productivity and competitive market to absorb young people.
Analyzing from outlooks of young people, to deal with this concern, related agents including private sectors, non-governmental organization, government and conglomerates should focus on several priorities.

Third, they should focus on promoting the linkage between income security and employability through enhancing accountability and transparency.
ASEAN has taken two big actions which are ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Youth and the Regional Cooperation Platform for Vocational Education and Teacher Training in the ASEAN region – RCP.
These are to talk and meet with youth, discuss and find effective resolution to solve this issue. The CRP comprises eight specialist institutes in the field of trainings both vocational and professional


First, they should focus on
school to work transitions and employability through investing in right building human capital for demand of job market. Secondly, they should focus on jobs creation through enabling very attractive investment climates for FDI and local investments.

for youth and teachers in ASEAN.

The Institute of Vocatio- nal Training and South-East Asian Specialists use the regional platform for joint researches and other consultancy on vocational education. Overall, youth should put their best effort in getting the right skills.

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