people with disabilities , and immigrants workers conditions

Broad access to training
Equal access for all to education, vocational training and workplace learning is a fundamental principle of cohesive societies. Constant attention is required to ensure it is
applied in reality.
Some groups of people may require more attention than others if they are to benefit from the opportunities to develop their capacities through education and training.
These include under-represented groups; minorities; people with disabilities; immigrants; people from particularly disadvantaged communities; people who have been
unemployed for long periods; and people caught up in large-scale redundancies as a
result of restructuring.
PART III Building blocks of strong training and skills development strategies 29
Young people out of employment, or with only short spells in employment, having left
education too early and with inadequate skills, are everywhere at high risk of economic
marginalization and social exclusion. 

Upgrading their skills is essential in helping them
to enter, or return to, the labour market. The more relevant the training to future employment prospects, including workplace training, the better the outcomes.
Young people have been hit particularly hard by the recent economic crisis, which
has exacerbated existing structural problems of high levels of youth unemployment
and difficulties in entering the labour market in many places. Young people aged 15–24
account for 25 per cent of the global working-age population, yet their share in total
unemployment reached 40 per cent during the crisis. The OECD’s review of “Jobs for
Youth” suggests that improving the skills of young people, and hence their long-term
career prospects, requires action on three fronts:

 (1) do everything possible to prevent
students dropping out of school; (2) promote the combination of work and study; and
(3) offer every young person a “second chance” at a qualification. The UK’s programme
to keep young people in education and training and Australia’s and France’s actions
during the economic downturn exemplify this approach (box 9).
Incentives to employ and train young people include wage subsidies and/or subminimum-wage provisions, which are often needed to encourage employers to hire
apprentices by compensating them for the time spent providing on-the-job training.
Sub-minimum wages for youth or recent labour market entrants exist in 12 OECD
countries out of 22 with a national minimum wage.
In less developed regions, broader availability of better-quality education is needed
to enable young people to acquire core skills and then go on to learn occupational and
work skills. Specific policies are necessary to improve training and employment services for disadvantaged young people, especially those who have been removed from
child labour, who live in rural areas or whose families work in the informal economy,
with a view to helping them enter the formal labour market and improving their longterm employability.

 People with disabilities
Worldwide, four out of five persons with disabilities live below the poverty line. It is
a massive loss both to them and to their countries when they are unable to contribute
to national development. Public interventions can help to include disabled persons in
regular training programmes. On-the-job training and targeted training in transitional
work environments or separate centres may be needed by some disabled persons, but
these facilities must be well designed and accompanied by appropriate employment
services if they are to help people with disabilities to go on to obtain productive mainstream employment.
Migrant workers
The potential for labour migration to contribute to development objectives in both
countries of origin and countries of destination can be explored through a variety of
means, including bilateral and multilateral arrangements. Offering equal opportunities
30 A Skilled Workforce for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth
Box 9: Keeping young people in school and on a path to work
Learning Agreements in the United Kingdom aim to raise participation in education and training of
16–17 year-olds without a lower secondary qualification. They comprise two elements: 

■ The Learning Agreement itself: a negotiated, personalized agreement focusing primarily on the
learning and support needs of the young person. The agreement also seeks the engagement and
support of employers in helping to re-engage their young employees with learning.
■ Financial incentives to encourage employees to take up the Learning Agreement offer. A range
of these incentives are being tested, including for example completion bonuses.
The Learning Agreement model aims to reach all 16–17 year-olds in the pilot areas who are in
jobs but without accredited training. Priority is given to those who do not hold a lower secondary
qualification and to those who are working 16 hours a week or more. All of the pilots were required
to enter into a contract with Train to Gain –

 a programme launched nationwide in 2006 providing
employers with free skill brokerage services to identify the skills gaps of their workforce and the
best provision and funding available to fill them.
Measures in Australia to improve young people’s skills while also fighting unemployment emphasize
education and training rather than allowing young people to languish on unemployment benefits.
Australia’s states and territories agreed in April 2009 to bring forward to 2015 the goal of having
90 per cent of under-25 year-olds having completed the equivalent of an upper secondary (ISCED
3) qualification. The federal Government is committed to making participation in education and
training the single most important precondition for receiving income support for youth aged 15–20.
Employers will be financially encouraged to recruit and retain new apprentices and trainees through
a completion payment under the “Securing Apprenticeships” wage subsidy.
Similar targeted measures in France were launched in April 2009 as an emergency plan for youth
employment with the following aims: (1) facilitate the school-to-work transition by promoting
apprenticeships and combined work and training opportunities; (2) promote the transformation of
internships into permanent employment contracts; and (3) provide additional training and employment opportunities for young people who are detached from the labour market. In September 2009,
these employment measures were reinforced in the broader youth strategy “Acting for Youth”,
which also covers improving careers guidance in school; preventing 17–18 year-olds from dropping
out of school; helping young people to become financially autonomous; and encouraging young
people to become better citizens. 

A generation of multiservice youth programmes in Latin America have combined education, demanddriven job training and internships. Initiated in Chile at the beginning of the 1990s, Jóvenes programmes have been introduced in Argentina, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Panama,
Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The Chile Joven programme was created as a response to
the long-term negative effects of the economic downturn of the previous decade. Subsequent programmes in other Latin American countries were designed to address the problems faced by poorly
educated young people from low-income backgrounds trying to enter the labour market. Generally,
effects on employment across the Latin American programmes are positive;

 the largest impact is
on improving engagement in formal employment or in employment offering non-wage benefits.
Significantly positive effects on employment and earnings for women were found in Peru’s Projoven,
Panama’s ProCaJoven and Colombia’s Jóvenes en Acción programmes.
Source: OECD, Jobs for Youth: Synthesis Report (Paris, OECD, forthcoming, 2010).
PART III Building blocks of strong training and skills development strategies 31
to migrant workers and meeting their training needs, and then avoiding discrimination
in education and training for their children, is an issue of growing salience, particularly
in countries with ageing populations.

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