The partner countries of German development cooperation need more and better jobs and a qualified workforce. These are essential factors for ensuring that people can make a living from their work.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that in 2022 global unemployment will stand at 205 million people – the highest unemployment rate since 2013. As a consequence, more and more people have little chance of taking charge of their own lives and participating in social and economic development.
In many of our partner countries, the situation is specifically acute: The fall in employment and hours worked has translated into a sharp drop in labour income and a corresponding rise in poverty. Compared to 2019, an additional 108 million workers worldwide are now categorized as poor or extremely poor (they live on the equivalent of less than US$3.20 per person per day). As a result of the labour market crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of persons living in poverty globally has increased again for the first time in 20 years.
But public social security systems often are inexistent, labour administration and intermediation services are weak is most cases and as a result of the demographic situation and the very young population, every year many million new jobseekers enter the labour market.
One of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to ‘promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’. German development cooperation is also committed to achieving this objective. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ supports its partner countries in creating more and better employment opportunities that offer people a living wage.
GIZ uses a variety of methods and instruments to improve the employment situation in partner countries:
- To stimulate demand for labour, GIZ provides advice on and implements targeted measures for creating jobs, with a particular focus on supporting the private sector. This entails, for example, training and information offers for entrepreneurs to open up new customer markets, improve their business model and create new jobs through growth.
- The supply of labour and employability of jobseekers are improved through high-quality, labour-market-oriented (vocational and academic) education and training. This includes, amongst others, stronger involvement of the private sector in vocational education and training, initial and further training of teachers and trainers as well as the amendment of curricula to ensure that graduates have the right qualifications for the labour market.
- Improved job placement services, information systems and career advice help to reconcile supply and demand on the labour market. For instance, the digitalization of job centers, (virtual) job fairs, job application and soft skills trainings as well as the establishment of national labour market information systems are supported.
These approaches should not be seen in isolation, and are most effective when combined under the ‘umbrella’ of economic framework conditions, such as labour legislation and standards, whose consistent alignment with employment promotion is being supported by GIZ.