IFC, Islamic Development Bank Promotes Job-Oriented Education for Youth
Twenty-five percent youth joblessness is costing the Arab region nearly $50 billion every year. It’s not just the lack of jobs -- education is not giving youth the skills they need. Recent events in the region continue to emphasize the social and economic disconnect between skills, jobs, and opportunity.
Education for Employment (e4e) is an IFC and Islamic Development Bank-led initiative focused on making job-oriented education one of the highest priorities in the region. As part of this initiative, the report Education for Employment: Realizing Arab Youth Potential, was launched in April 2011 in Washington D.C., with keynote remarks by H.M. Queen Rania of Jordan, who is serving as honorary chairperson of the e4e initiative; World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick; Islamic Development Bank President Ahmed Mohamed Ali; and IFC EVP and CEO Lars Thunell.
"IFC and the Islamic Development Bank are calling on all stakeholders to act decisively in designing appropriate e4e solutions,” said Thunell. “By implementing a robust e4e initiative, the energy of the region’s young people and the dynamism of its private sector can be brought together to build a brighter social and economic future for all.”
The Education for Employment report shows that the private sector can be a powerful force for positive change by complementing public efforts to ensure the region's youth gain the necessary skills for the jobs being created.
It explores how the private sector can contribute to meeting the current skills deficit and identifies the steps that should be taken, such as implementing the three enablers—standards, funding, and “matchmaking” (between youth and potential employers).
The e4e initiative has engaged all key stakeholders, including public and private education providers, civil society, public sector policymakers and administrators, private employers, and youth themselves, in order to understand each of their perspectives.
The report is a call to action, a call to act now, to act decisively, and to act together to help transform life in the Arab region.
“If we do not do this, each and every young man and woman will be adversely affected, and overall stability and development of the region will be further threatened,” the report says.