According to the International Labour Organization, the COVID-19 crisis is affecting young people increasingly rapidly and intensely; there is a pressing need to take action to avoid the risk of a “generation of confinement”.

Even before the emergence of the virus, young people were facing difficulties associated with the labour market. In fact, unemployment affected 67.6 million young people.

According to the report, young people in employment are mainly engaged in jobs that make them vulnerable to a possible loss of income or employment as a result of the current crisis.

In addition to all this, the COVID 19 crisis has led to the closure of schools, universities and technical and vocational education and training institutions, as well as the interruption of vocational training activities, particularly apprenticeships and internships.

The ILO therefore points to the need for immediate support to enterprises and workers around the world, across the four pillars of the ILO’s general policy framework, to address the COVID 19 crisis.

These pillars are detailed below.


PILLAR 1. Stimulating the economy and employment

  • A fiscal and active policy
  • A flexible monetary policy
  • Loans and financial assistance to specific sectors, including the health sector


PILLAR 2. Supporting enterprises, jobs and incomes

  • Extend social protection to all of society
  • Implementing job retention measures
  • It offers companies financial/taxation assistance and other means of relief


PILLAR 3. Protecting workers in the workplace

  • Strengthening OSH measures
  • Adapting working arrangements (e.g. teleworking)
  • Preventing access to health care for all
  • Extending the use of paid leave


PILLAR 4. Seeking solutions through social dialogue

  • Strengthening the capacity and resilience of employers’ and      workers’ organizations
  • Strengthening government capacity
  • Strengthening social dialogue, collective bargaining and industrial relations institutions and mechanisms


With this in mind, the ILO has called for action to ensure that the eventual return to a new normality after the VICD-19 health emergency is also the route to a better normality, and in this scenario it is essential to seek solutions to the problems of youth employment.

To this end, governments must provide comprehensive solutions that combine elements from all four pillars of the ILO’s comprehensive policy framework to address the VIDC 19 crisis, in particular support for education and skills development, including digital literacy and e-learning, vocational training, entrepreneurship, social protection and improving the rights and conditions of young people at the workplace, given the risk that the future of the youth labour market and their overall well-being will be affected in the long term.


Link to the report: