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International Youth Day 2020

To get ready for the changing world of work, the voice of youth needs to be heard now to make concrete proposals, action plans and policies. As a starting point, during International Youth Day 2020, young people and decision makers will enter into dialogue in webinars, on TV, radio and on social media to map out the issues they see around the future of work.

All around the globe, the rapid changes in our technological, climate and political realities have reshaped the world of work, while the Covid-19 pandemic accelerates the change process. Rural youth are facing unprecedented challenges. Yet we have the power to transform these challenges into opportunities.

Commissioned by Oxfam’s Empower Youth for Work program, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) conducted a research on ‘The Future of Work’ to explore the expected changes in work and income-generating activities for rural young people in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Pakistan. The research also looked into whether existing policies have anticipated the changes in the future of work.

The future of work and income opportunities for rural young people will be shaped by the trends of technological change, demographic change, environmental pressures and shifting power. For example, access to internet is determining whether or not someone could proceed with their education, have access to information and to certain jobs. Without connectivity, inequality is increasing.


In the meantime, the COVID-19 crisis has turned from a global health crisis into a severe economic crisis, resulting in acceleration of the effects on various aspects of the trends, imposing great threats to the livelihood of rural youth and women.

However, facing with these challenges, the policies in the EYW countries only anticipate the future of work in a limited way, with worrying little attention to technological and environmental change. Leaving youth in a vulnerable position: Youth are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults (IFAD 2019). Irregular work and a lack of formal employment and social protection leads to working poverty (i.e. where people live below the poverty line despite being in work).

If these changes and trends are not properly addressed, it will increase the inequalities and poverty rural young women and men already face today. We need to get ready for the future of work and take actions now! To make the right interventions in this changing world of work, the voice of youth needs to be heard now to make concrete proposals, action plans and policies.

The full report The Future of Work 

  • Indonesia

    In Indonesia, for International Youth Day, different stakeholders like young people, government and CSO will collaborate through online working groups and a communication forum on the Future of Work. These events will take place on August 12th and 13th. This collaboration is crucial to gain perspective on the issue and its relation to SDG number 8 on Decent Work and to explore the challenges, the support needed and the opportunities available for youth. Prior to IYD, on August 11th, a webinar will take place on Youth Engagement in Employment and Entrepreneurship Sectors during Covid-19 Pandemic. The webinar is organized by EYW and Through Spotify, issues around youth employment will be addressed and learnings will be shared by means of a podcast series with the following topics:

    • Best practices
    • Innovation
    • Employment
    • Creativity
    EYW Indonesia is also working on various promotion materials for the Future of Work, such as infographics and a video.
    Photo credit: Zulfikar Arief/Oxfam in Indonesia

  • Bangladesh

    Young people involved in EYW and the YAC community will meet virtually on IYD to discuss the Future of Work research findings, youth’s perspective on four megatrends and their expectations of the Future of Work. Guest speakers from different sectors share the struggles they experienced in their journey becoming entrepreneurs and young professionals and they will be answering questions of any participants who are interested to learn from their knowledge and experience.

    • The webinar will be followed by a nation-wide cultural event organized by youth with the aim of connecting young people from different parts of the country and encourage them unite in the midst of the current covid-19 pandemic.
    Youth activists in Bangladesh continue to be key actors in the pandemic response. They organize a cultural event to convey messages on Covid-19 and EYW partners are organising consultations with young people, government, and private sector to identify post-COVID-19 employment opportunities for youth. Youth will also reflect on this topic through a radio show.  
     Photo credit: Tonmoy Das

  • Ethiopia

    The EYW team in Ethiopia’s theme for International Youth Day 2020 is “Youth employment and decent works now and later”. The day will be celebrated through a radio panel discussion with Topics such as the future of youth employment in rural and semi-urban areas, ways to incorporate youth, the current job creation and the future of work will be addressed. A policy will be proposed for an inclusive future for young people in Ethiopia and the major issues since the implementation of the youth enterprise development will be discussed.  

     Photo credit: Geleta Kedir/Oxfam Ethiopia

  • Pakistan

    Oxfam in Pakistan is celebrating International Youth Day 2020 with youth from all over Pakistan and key stakeholders that include provincial and national level government officials. This year’s theme is ‘’Future of Work’’ and young people especially girls will get a chance to have a dialogue on emerging trends of employment and power shift. The discussion will revolve around challenges and opportunities around the future of work and linking up the discussion with impacts of pandemics on the nature of work and how it hinders economic growth and push millions below the poverty line. As a result of celebration, we are expecting that young people will be able to redefine their worldview of employment and realize their collective power in terms of supporting their communities and contributes positively to the country’s economic growth.  

    Photo credit: RDF