Empowering Youth through Decent Jobs: Working Together in South Asia

Date: 31 October 2019, Time: 14.00 – 16.30 hrs. Venue: The Convention Centre

Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel, Mumbai, India


Organized by: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), South-South Network for Public Service Innovation (SSN4PSI) and supported by UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)



Ensuring decent jobs for youths has remained a significant challenge for countries around the world, particularly in developing countries where labour markets are undergoing major structural shifts from technological innovations and automation, demographic changes, and growing inequality. Despite widespread recognition of how vital it is to empower youths, the challenge still remains for governments and development practitioners.


In 2019, The International Labour Organization(ILO) and World Bank reported that across the  Asia and Pacific region, the youth unemployment rate in Southern Asia has increased.  It will continue to increase in 2020. While South Asia’s economies have been growing, there are still 28 million out of school children in the region — 10 million in primary school and 18 million in lower secondary schools. Furthermore, 45 per cent of primary school children do not learn the basics of mathematics or reading. The consequence is a significant dearth of  skills and  appropriate jobs in South Asia.


In this scenario, effective methodologies are required to support the youth transitioning from unemployment to employment through  policy interventions, innovative projects, and cross-country partnership for youth employment. The matchmaking between demand and supply can contribute to facilitating the sharing of evidence-based actions, initiatives, and best practices, that have positive impacts on achieving the targets of the SDGs. Best practices and initiatives to empower youth with decent jobs can be effectively shared and followed-up through cross-country learning and replication with the utilization of this unique methodology.



The primary objective of this matchmaking workshop is to bring together government representatives, relevant multi-stakeholders in India and across South Asia in order to enhance the exchange of knowledge by sharing and learning from regionally relevant and scalable solutions addressing the challenges on education, skills, and employment. Besides, the matchmaking workshop will be –


  • Identifying underemployed and unemployed youths and developing their skills for the market;
  • Exploring competitive advantages and entry points in favor of youth training, expertise and jobs in the community for the public sector, corporations, and other partners.
  • Promoting community development through proven methods to engage;
  • Emphasising that a sustainable future is possible if youth are employed and integrated into their communities.


Key points for discussion

The key points for discussion will include but will not be limited to the following:


  • Skills and Decent Jobs for Youth: How can job-relevant skills be created for youths? How can we empower youths through decent Jobs? How can we identify and scale up effective strategies for equipping young people with market driven skills?
  • Youth Entrepreneurship and Self-employment: How can we unleash the potential of youth to succeed in business through entrepreneurship and self-employment? How can we promote youth-led digital entrepreneurship in rural areas?
  • The role of the Private Sector in Skills Development: How can the private sector support the expansion of skills development for young people?
  • 4IR-Based Future Skills Development: How can governments support young people in preparing for the future of work? How can we ensure a decent future of work for youth?
  • South-South Cooperation to ensure decent jobs for Youth: How can we empower youths through decent jobs to reach the scale and impact needed to achieve the targets set in the 2030 Agenda, including through South-South Cooperation? What is the role of UN agencies in supporting the governments to develop appropriate capacity and policies and facilitating South-South Cooperation?


Matchmaking Session

Time Programme
Venue: The Convention Centre Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel, Mumbai, India.
Opening of Matchmaking Session

14:00 – 14:20 hrs.

(10 minutes each speaker)


Mr. Denis Nkala, Regional Coordinator/ Representative, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok.

Representative from UNICEF (TBC)



14:20 – 15:40 hrs.


Simon Pickup, Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist, UNICEF Bangladesh

Asad – Uz- Zaman, Policy Specialist, a2i – innovate for all and coordinator, South – South Network for Public Service Innovation


Presentations: (5 minutes per presentation)

  • Afghan Workforce Development Program;
  • National Entrepreneurship Network
  • Empowering Women through Employment
  • Draktsho-Vocational Training Centre for Special Children and Youth
  • Zero to Hero Program
  • Champa Central Training & Development Program
  • Rupantaran Training Package
  • Skill Training for Advancing Resources
  • Sudokkho
  • Centre of Excellence for Leather Skills Council
  • Loden SEED Programme
  • Skills Training and Management
15:40 – 16:20 Open Discussion session
16:20 – 16:30 Closing of the Session