Sara Elder, CTA Work4Youth Project, Youth Employment Unit
If you’re as baffled as I am by the speed at which the acronym NEETs has become standard jargon in the media, academia and international organisations, please take a moment to join me for a brief examination of what NEETs actually means. Read the technical brief
Who are NEETs? Strictly speaking, NEETs are young people who are “Neither in Employment nor in Education or Training”. Why is everybody talking about them? Perhaps because the idea of NEETs is vague enough to allow for all-encompassing interpretations of the challenges facing young people. NEETs has become shorthand for exclusion, marginalization, joblessness and discouragement. It’s even been given as evidence for a “jobless generation”, which—let’s face it—makes a great headline.
Let me tell you briefly the stories of Afia and Melba.
Afia gets up every day at 5 a.m. to fetch water from a well two miles away from her farm in Djanipe (Togo) to prepare a family meal before going off to her farming or trading activities When she comes back home in the evening, she is too tired to play with her two children, aged four and two.
Soglo, her husband, works shorter hours and does not participate in childcare or household chores. They have been hit hard by the lack of rainfall and are constantly struggling to make ends meet. Continue reading →
The room was filled with about 50 excited Liberian youth, all sporting white T-shirts with the inscription “Graduate” printed on the back.
The young women and men had completed three-month apprenticeships with enterprises in the Liberian capital, Monrovia. For many of them, this was the first time in their lives that they had received any form of training, let alone a certificate.
And many had hopes their new skills would open the door to a bright future. Continue reading →