Barriers to youth work opportunities

22nd November 2016
Author: Huma Haider

There is growing evidence that youth unemployment is becoming a bigger issue and challenge than adult unemployment (Manpower group, 2012). While young labour participants and adult participants can be affected by similar opportunities and barriers to work, youth may experience these barriers to a greater degree and may also face additional constraints. This report explores factors that constrain youth access to work opportunities in low-income countries. Most of the literature focuses on Africa. While there are a few empirical studies, most of the literature is based on qualitative analysis. Barriers to work opportunities identified include demand side factors (economic constraints; labour market failures; poor access to credit) and supply side factors (educational and skills mismatch; lack of social capital). They are cross-cut by social, economic, and political biases against youth (Moore, 2015). Urban youth and female youth are more likely to face obstacles in accessing work opportunities.

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Suggested Citation

Haider, H. (2016). Barriers to youth work opportunities (K4D Helpdesk Research Report). Birmingham, UK: GSDRC, University of Birmingham.


22nd November 2016


Continent: Africa