© GIZ/Dirk Ostermeier

Developing countries need more and better jobs and a qualified workforce. These are essential factors for ensuring that people can make a living from their work.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 200 million people around the world are currently unemployed. This means that they have little chance of taking charge of their own lives and participating in social and economic development.

In some countries in the European Union (EU), youth unemployment is a particular problem. Since the euro crisis in 2009, up to 30 per cent of young people in some regions are neither in work nor attending an educational establishment or training course.

The situation is even more acute in developing countries. In the absence of state support services, many people can no longer ‘afford’ to be unemployed. They have work, but are either underemployed or work under precarious conditions. Around 783 million people – almost 30 per cent of the world’s working population – live on less than USD 3.10 a day, and are therefore classified as ‘working poor‘.

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. In doing so, GIZ’s activities are aligned with the goals the German Government.

GIZ uses a variety of methods and instruments to improve employment in developing countries:

  1. To stimulate demand for workers, GIZ provides advice on and implements targeted measures for creating jobs, with a particular focus on supporting the private sector.
  2. The availability of jobs and employability of job-seekers are improved through high-quality, labour-market-oriented (vocational and academic) education and training.
  3. Improved job placement services, information systems and career advice help to reconcile supply and demand on the labour market.

These approaches should not be seen in isolation, and are most effective when combined under the ‘umbrella’ of economic framework conditions consistently designed to boost employment.