Global Initiative on innovative Employment Services for Youth - YouMatch II

Project description

Title: Global Initiative on innovative employment services for youth (YouMatch)
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Global;  Burkina Faso, Benin, Botswana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Mauretania, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia
Overall term: 2018 to 2021


According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the global youth unemployment rate is three times higher than the adult unemployment rate (13 per cent versus 4.3 per cent). The issue is particularly acute in Africa and the Middle East. In North Africa, youth constitute more than 34 per cent of the total unemployed population while representing only 14.6 per cent of the labour force. In the Middle East, the youth unemployment rate reaches 29.7 per cent while Sub-Saharan Africa has the world's second largest official youth unemployment rate in absolute terms with 12 million youth unemployed.
Young people find it particularly difficult to gain a foothold in the labour market. Lacking work experience and without the necessary networks and strategies to support their job search, finding a decent job becomes especially challenging. Improving the quality of career guidance services, better vocational preparation, efficient job placement services and robust labour market information systems could significantly improve prospects for employment.


Expertise on employment services (ES) for youth in the YouMatch partner countries is improved. Technical solutions, innovative approaches and lessons learnt from the cross-regional network are used for national and regional reform processes and implemented in measures to further develop ES.


The YouMatch network brings together around 90 employment service practitioners from 25 African and MENA region countries. Following a multi-stakeholder approach, public, private and civil society organisations are represented. The network members collaborate in nine interregional Communities of Practice (CoPs) addressing such topics as career guidance and life skills, setting up effective job centres, labour market information systems, public-private partnerships and multi-stakeholder approaches in the field of ES as well as ES for rural youth.
The CoP members exchange experiences, share knowledge and implement a joint work plan. They benefit from capacity development measures such as exchanges with international experts, study tours, trainings or peer-to-peer counselling.
Building on the work results in the CoPs, YouMatch partners contribute to continental, regional and national reform processes in the field of ES through the provision of technical expertise, the elaboration of innovative approaches and policy recommendations.
The YouMatch initiative is implemented in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), the AU Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfMS) and the World Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES). YouMatch further collaborates with the European Training Foundation (ETF) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) as well as with relevant German development cooperation projects in the member countries.


In partnership with regional and national stakeholders in Africa and MENA, YouMatch has identified and formally registered its approximately 90 CoP members from 25 countries. This forms the basis for the development and expansion of the YouMatch network into an interregional, recognised learning and exchange platform for employment services.
YouMatch has gradually developed a process to steer cooperation in the CoPs, focusing on ownership on the ground. This includes the moderation of the CoPs by facilitators whom YouMatch has selected in the partner countries of the initiative and specifically trained for this task.
The close coordination of YouMatch activities with the regional organisations UfM and AU is a key requirement for a sustainable use of the network. For example, YouMatch, in consultation with the AU, was able to ensure the integration of the network into the African Skills Portal for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship (ASPYEE).

Additional information