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Green jobs and young people

In search of green jobs: voices of (unheard) young people and their aspirations, barriers and negotiations with work

The creation of green jobs –  decent jobs which can support environmental preservation or restoration – could simultaneously address the twin pressures of youth underemployment and climate change. The ILO calculates a possible additional 15-60 million new jobs could be created from green growth. Conversely, 1.2 billion existing jobs rely directly upon the ‘ecosystem services’ which climate change and biodiversity loss are now disrupting.

The objective of this project is to research the availability, attitudes, understandings, and possibilities for green job creation with and for young people. Centering youth voices is essential to both understanding the challenges of young people as well as to develop effective strategies to address them. Using a youth co-research approach, this project will co-create the research design and research tools with young researchers. Young women and those from more disadvantaged backgrounds are most adversely affected yet their voices are also most likely to go unheard. Focusing on 15-35 years aged people across a range of countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa), this project aims to hear from the unheard youth to understand their aspirations, what work means to them, what are the challenges they face, how do they go about negotiating them and what support do they need to reach their potential.

The project, we hope, will help outline new strategies for enabling ‘unheard’ young people to secure dignified and fulfilling work; support the aspirations and plans of these young people, to enable them to take control of their own futures, particularly in the context of COVID-19 and climate change; and help shape policy and regulatory mechanisms that structure the work for them.

This project has received funds from the Mastercard Foundation.

Full information about the project is available.