’Helpdesk Research Report: Youth (un) employment in MENA-Egypt

Type Report
Title ’Helpdesk Research Report: Youth (un) employment in MENA-Egypt
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
URL http://www.gsdrc.org/docs/open/hd785.pdf
Youth unemployment is a key issue in the Middle East and North Africa. The recent social unrest in
the region can be linked to frustration with difficulties in transitioning from school to the labour force as
the unrest was dominated by young educated people.
This helpdesk report discusses youth (un)employment and labour force (non)participation in MENA,
with a particular focus on Egypt. It first provides an overview of unemployment trends, which have
affected youth and women to a greater extent. It then outlines structural obstacles to addressing
youth unemployment, focusing on:
High share of public-sector employment
Challenging business environment and difficulties with private sector development
Labour market rigidities
Social dialogue
Migration and non-national workers
Skills mismatch
Some of the barriers discussed will apply to unemployment more generally, affecting both young
people and adults. The report will then look at active labour market policies in the Arab region,
focusing on technical and vocational education training and entrepreneurial support. Very little is
known about the impact of youth-oriented active labour market programmes as programme and
project evaluations are rare throughout the region.

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