40 %

of young people in MENA region are in neither work nor education

Masaraat

Economic inclusion for young people

Masaraat, launched in April 2019 is the new Citizens’ Voice platform for the MENA region and also heralds a new focus for the programme – economic inclusion for young people. Decent work and income are essential if young people are to be able to participate fully in their societies and realise their potential.

Masaraat will address the issues that prevent young people’s participation in the labour market in the MENA region and advocate for solutions to these problems

Research carried out in 2017 by the Breugel economic think tank showed that the MENA region has some of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world, especially among young women. Young people are hindered by the lack of relevant work or support for them to develop their own opportunities. Their economic exclusion is compounded by their exclusion from decision-making and lack of opportunity to influence policies and programmes which can respond to their needs.

Bridging the gaps

As a result of these findings, the platform was designed to guide young people through a process of self-awareness and self-assessment before making a study or career choice. Through engaging with the platform, young people can learn what are they good at, what their passions are and how can they channel those passions into career prospects. Masaraat (meaning Pathways) will also offer practical guidance to young people entering the workforce, educating them on vital personal skills and competencies such as negotiation, work ethics and etiquette in the workplace.

Most of these skills and resources are not available free to young people in the Arabic language and Masaraat’s aim is to become a digital one-stop shop where users can assess their skills and orient themselves in the job market. Working with local partners, the platform will also help connect young people to the relevant services available in their region in order to increase their economic opportunities.

Economic inclusion matters

The importance of young people’s economic inclusion is clearly stated in the United Nations Youth Strategy Youth 2030 which prioritises supporting young people’s greater access to decent work and productive employment. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals also emphasise the importance of young people’s full economic inclusions as a pre-condition for peaceful and resilient societies.

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