The Ministry of Labour & Employment (MoLE) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to co-create and implement solutions at scale to tackle the employment and skilling challenges for adolescents and youth in India. A particular focus will be on the vulnerable population, including young people with special needs, migrant youth, victims of child labour, violence, child marriage and trafficking.
The collaboration was announced by Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Hon’ble Minister of State for Labour and Employment (Independent Charge). The State of Intent to highlight the partnership was signed by Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary Ministry of Labour & Employment and Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India and Co-Chair, YuWaah, in the presence of Ms. Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief of Generation Unlimited, Youth Development and Partnerships, UNICEF India and Mr. Abhishek Gupta, Chief Operating Officer of YuWaah. This effort will be spearheaded by YuWaah, UNICEF’s multi-stakeholder alliance in India, globally known as Generation Unlimited.
Launched in 2019, YuWaah aims to prepare India’s young people to transition from education & learning to productive work and active citizenship. By 2030, YuWaah aims to:
- Build pathways for 100M young people to aspirational socio-economic opportunities
- Facilitate 200M young people to gain relevant skills for productive lives
- Partner with 300M young people as active change-makers and create spaces for leadership development
Towards achieving these goals, MoLE, UNICEF and YuWaah will create linkages between young people and aspirational economic opportunities, upskilling young people with 21st-century skills and supporting direct dialogue between youth and policy stakeholders. To ensure that schemes and programmes are consistent with young people’s priorities and aspirations, YuWaah’s community participation online platform, U-Report, will act as a feedback mechanism. To strengthen the National Career Service (NCS), MoLE will also provide the necessary API integration to YuWaah for connecting with more job seekers.
Delighted to announce this partnership, Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Hon’ble Minister of State (IC) for Labour& Employment (Independent Charge) said, “We are committed to improve employment outcomes for all youth in India, including females & vulnerable ones too, through an enduring, long-term commitment for better opportunities. By leveraging the strengths of MoLE, YuWaah (UNICEF) and associated network members, we hope to enable abundant choices for our young generation to contribute and shape our country’s future.”
Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Labour& Employment said, “To effectively harness capabilities of our youth, interventions must reflect labour market demand and the needs of employers, as a well as the aptitude and aspirations of youth. With this partnership between MoLE, YuWaah (UNICEF), we are committed to make an inclusive and participatory association by establishing a feedback mechanism between youth and policy stakeholders to ensure that schemes and programs are consistent with young people’s priorities and aspirations.
Congratulating the Secretary, MoLE and the Labour Ministry for their leadership and this partnership, UNICEF India Representative and Co-Chair, YuWaah, Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, said, “There is so much potential for employment generation in India. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that our youth are not only agile and quick to adapt to a changing environment, they are also tremendously resilient. With the support of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, we endeavour to provide young people with opportunities for developing 21st-century skills and creating pathways towards career and economic opportunities.”
Richa Gupta, 24 years, member of YuWaah’s Young People’s Action Team (YPAT), said, “The kind of discussions and conversations between young people, like my friends and myself, have evolved deeply during this pandemic. Not only are we acutely aware of what a crisis at a global level looks like, we also understand the need to diversify our skillset so that we can seamlessly pivot to newer roles and fields. We appreciate all the support provided to us to help bridge the gap between us, as job seekers, and platforms and repositories that carry information not only about the latest job trends and vocations in the field but also the career guidance and mentorship that we so often need.”
Suraj Mishra, 24, member of YuWaah’s Maharashtra Young People’s Action Team (YPAT), said, “Having experienced first-hand how the pandemic has added challenges in studying and working, we feel that upskilling and digital literacy is a critical way forward for us. With more platforms and opportunities, it would certainly help us look at jobs and employment differently and help to tap into our potential to make a difference to our country and economy in a truly impactful way.”