Whereas education is considered as the most appropriate option of addressing the challenge of youth unemployment, the education system of many countries remains a major impediment to this option (Roche and Tucker, 1997, p. 16). The education systems of many countries are not aligned to the economy because schools and institutions of higher learning are not enslaved to the market needs. Greene (2002, p. 315) observes that in some cases there is a discrepancy between what is taught in school and what is needed in the job market. Youth unemployment correlates with social exclusion and its subsequent effects on the larger society.
Many governments in the world have realized this and have developed a diverse policy response to avert this potential crisis. China (2002, p. 63) says that these governments have offered subsidies and incentives to companies that employ the youth; developed programs of socially useful work; created initiatives that are based on guarantees of employment, training, or education; extended provision of pre-vocational educations and apprenticeships; relaxed employment conditions requirements such as minimum wage requirements; and extending vocational education. In a bid to address the challenge of youth unemployment, some governments have accompanied youth employment activation initiatives and programs with social protection benefits (MacDonald, 2011, p.
429). In light of the challenge of youth unemployment, some governments have responded well with practical and workable initiatives. Some of the youth employment policies have combined the supply and demand-side approaches (Tyler et al, 2009, p. 23). However, it should be noted that in recent years the traditional notions of employment have been challenged and therefore it is important that the subject of youth unemployment be re-conceptualized.
The profound social and economic changes experienced in recent decades have disrupted the planned careers and job security assumptions (Greene, 2002, p. 318). Concepts such as flexibility, life-long learning, and re-skilling have replaced the old orthodoxies and beliefs concerning the labor market.
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