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UK MPs Warn of Youth Unemployment 'Timebomb' in Developing Countries


There’s a "ticking timebomb" for this generation’s young people as unemployment levels in third-world nations continue to grow higher and higher because of economic and social issues.

See Also: Graduates and Unemployment in Africa

When pundits opine on matters related to youth unemployment, we are often referred to the massive jobless numbers for those between 16 and 24 in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. However, it is pretty rare to come across youth unemployment numbers in developing countries that are plastered across newspapers and television screens.


Last week, the Commons International Development Committee (IDC), a group of British Members of Parliament, released a report that suggested the international community must treat youth joblessness in the developing world as we would treat deadly diseases. The report attributed massive population increases as one of the main reasons for the lack of employment opportunities for young people.

According to the report, 600 million young people are expected to compete for an estimated 200 million jobs within the next decade, and this could make it difficult for workers to earn a livelihood. Moreover, this issue could incite widespread social ramifications and chaos.

The IDC noted the fact that the World Bank and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID) have acknowledged this dire issue, but there isn’t as much passion for it among these organizations.

"No one, not national governments nor donor agencies, are doing enough to defuse the ticking time bomb of youth unemployment in developing countries across the globe,” said Sir Malcolm Bruce, the chair of the IDC, in the report. “The complacent assumptions about population growth slowing are being proven wrong and we need to see that this is now a situation that needs to be addressed with the same kind of passion as children’s vaccinations or humanitarian emergencies.”

UK Investing in Economic Development 

This year, the DfID will invest £1.8bn ($2.7 billion) on economic development, which is double than what was spent in the last three years. However, the IDC believes the funds need to be allocated a lot more efficiently and effectively. Despite the fact that the DfID is collaborating with the private sector in creating new jobs, the report does share some of the same concerns that the MPs.

One of the main areas of worry consists of a paucity of knowledge of how the private sector works. Moving forward, the IDC recommends the DfID hire individuals with private sector experience and to develop a greater understanding of just how the private market functions.

Furthermore, the DfID must tackle government corruption and create conditions that are both attractive and favorable for businesses and investors. Also, the DfID, the report says, has to expand its reach beyond the conventional sectors - manufacturing, service and agriculture - and seek out employment opportunities in education and healthcare.

See Also: Bill Gates Predicts There Will be Almost no Poor Countries by 2035

A DfID spokesman told the Guardian that establishing job opportunities for youth in developing nations was imperative to eradicating poverty. "This is exactly the reason we are focusing on economic development and why we have put in place the right people and the right systems to deliver on our strategy."

Do you think that the UK government should be dealing with unemployment in foreign countries or focusing its resources at home? Your thoughts and comments below please...

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