India collaborates with UNICEF to tackle youth employment

New Delhi: India on Thursday signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) 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.

Minister of State for Labour and Employment (Independent Charge) Santosh Kumar Gangwar announced the collaboration soon after the SoI was signed between his ministry and the UNICEF.

The State of Intent to highlight the partnership was signed by Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary Ministry of Labour and Employment and Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India and Co-Chair, YuWaah, in the presence of Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief of Generation Unlimited, Youth Development and Partnerships, UNICEF India and 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 and learning to productive work and active citizenship.

By 2030, YuWaah aims to build pathways for 100 million young people to aspirational socio-economic opportunities, facilitate 200 million young people to gain relevant skills for productive lives, partner with 300 million 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, Gangwar said, "We are committed to improve employment outcomes for all youth in India, including females and 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."

Labour Ministry Secretary Apurva Chandra, 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."

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