Jobs, health, rights or even mental well-being, concerns about young people around the world are numerous after the COVID-19 crisis. Difficulties exposed in a study carried out by the International Labor Organization (ILO).
Released on August 11, the study conducted by the International Labor Organization highlights the concerns faced by young people between the ages of 18 and 29. Based on responses from 12,000 people from 112 different countries, the ILO office highlights five black spots for youth after the Coronavirus crisis. Among these, job insecurity is brought to the fore. And the numbers speak for themselves. 1 in 6 young people who had a professional activity before the crisis have completely stopped working. Economically speaking, 2 in 5 young people say they have suffered a significant drop in income since the virus spread. As a domino effect, it is the mental well-being of the youth that is damaged. For many, these complications related to the world of work affect their morale. The report shows that 17% of these young people may suffer from anxiety and even depression.
From the large panel of young people questioned, the ILO was able to identify three specific categories that were much more affected by the phenomenon. If the youngest (between 18 and 24 years old) encounter many difficulties, especially in entering the professional world, the consequences are even more serious for young women. According to the ILO, they are experiencing a greater decrease in their activity. Gender inequalities, therefore, but also significant geographic inequalities. Between developed countries and low-middle-income countries, the technological and digital divide continues to widen. Only 1 in 5 young people from a low-income country have been able to take distance education after their school, high school or university has closed. Paradoxically, nearly 7 out of 10 students who had the opportunity to follow their education online say they have learned less since the measures taken by the institutions.
What about the future?
“If the reduction in the job supply becomes sustainable, then everyone will be affected, but it is the young people who want to enter the labor market who will be the most affected.” says Michel Abhervé, professor of social economy and public policy at the University of Paris-Est. In a television interview for the RT France channel, he explains why it is young people who will suffer the wrath of the virus the most, professionally speaking. He does not hesitate to draw a parallel between this crisis and that of 2008-2009, “A financial crisis of a little less magnitude but with just as many difficulties to integrate the world of work” he assures. Concerned about the future of the younger generations, Michel Abhervé however qualifies his remarks and sees not only the negative after confinement. “Some took advantage of this period to seize opportunities, for example young people who had planned to leave their studies and who decide to do another year rather than struggle to find work.” For him, the doubts of this “confined generation” must be erased by the state. “The government must find terms and offer them to businesses. We must continue to trust young people in apprenticeship, trainees who need these professional opportunities to train ”. The professor fears a “sacrificed generation” and emphasizes the importance of giving priority to young people with the lowest level of education. “The situation is difficult for everyone, but it is still less bad for people who leave with a baccalaureate +5 than for others who leave with a -5 baccalaureate”.