• The clear message from young participants was this: job conditions for young people are difficult due to the economic crisis and, as Hasan from the Maldives said, “political chaos makes it hard for youth to be independent and live their dreams!” One of the main concerns that Rachelle, 23, from Canada highlighted was, “for young graduates coming out of university or college, …the large amount of debt due to student loans. While they are eager to enter the workforce, concerns of paying off their debts may force them to take on jobs that are either outside of their field or do not pay as much as they should.” In addition, participants also pointed towards the lack of information and resources available for young people about starting up businesses/organizations, including information on business development loan schemes.
• Ayshah, 26, from Kenya raised these concerns:
“Young people work tirelessly and the pay they get for their work is little compared to those permanently employed. These days, many organizations and institutions are using internships to fill gaps that are void, thus saving resources.
Very few young people are satisfied with their careers because of high competition and lack of suitable jobs in the country.”
• Maria from the Dominican Republic, believed that:
“Income concerns are what create one of the major gaps in youth employment in the Dominican Republic. Since the economic condition of the country remains unstable, young men and women worry about the salary they will receive when they start working, and mostly, will this be enough for them to sustain themselves. According to the Labour Ministry and different labour unions, the minimum wage is set in three stages, ranging between approximately US$150 to US$350, which is not enough to cover the basic needs of a household. A large number of the youth in the Dominican Republic have to use their income either to cover their expenses or to partially pay for their education. It is worthy of mention that most youth enter the job industry in the middle years of their education in order to be able to pay for it. Dominican youth are worried about being able to grow economically in the country, and also worried about how they will be able to keep up with the country’s high cost of living.”