For the 71 million young people who are unemployed globally, the future is daunting and uncertain. Laith, pictured above, is 23 and lives in Jordan. Like so many young people, when he was unable to find a job, he was left feeling withdrawn, and struggled to support himself and his family.
Regional instability and a sluggish economy have contributed to 20 percent unemployment in Jordan, with young people bearing an even higher burden. Nearly 40 percent of Jordan’s young people are unemployed and Laith says the limited job opportunities in his community drive a sense of hopelessness among youth. According to UNICEF, 100,000 young people start looking for jobs every year - but job supply is heavily outweighed by demand.
Laith was working odd jobs to make ends meet until a Mercy Corps training opportunity in solar panel installation was launched. Through our Access to Jobs and Justice programme, Laith is now working full-time and earning a regular income to support himself and his family.
Mercy Corps invests in youth employment around the world, because we know when young people have access to productive livelihoods they can gain the confidence and economic stability they need to realise their potential - and drive their communities forward.
In Jordan, this work means generating opportunities that match the demand of job seekers, both in skill and quantity. More jobs equal more chances for young people to earn income, contribute to their communities and build a better future, for themselves and their country.
Our programmes help people expand their businesses and hire more employees; support market development so industries are productive, resilient and equipped to grow. They connect young people with apprenticeships and mentorship, so they can benefit from stronger personal networks; and provide training for in-demand vocational skills. Young people like Laith represent a powerful source of hope. With the right opportunities and support, they can thrive and transform the world around them.