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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Getting by: how will young people make a living?

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    09 April 2019

    In the next decade, the World Bank estimates one billion young people will enter the labour market but only 400 million of them will have jobs. How will the other 600 million young people make a living?

    On Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 April, Murray Edwards College hosted a workshop entitled, Getting by: how will young people make a living? The workshop was based on the findings from a joint research project and survey conducted by the University of Cambridge and Restless Development, an international NGO, which aims to provide insight into youth experiences and opinions of work in developing and emerging economies.

    The workshop focused on defining a programme of work that will help to overcome the challenges faced by the projected rise in the youth population in the Global South. There were summaries from experts on relevant issues in economic and social policy (including education and skills), cultural and social aspects, and on practical experiments in enterprise and job creation. In addition, young people (or ‘Game Changers’ as they chose to be called) from developing countries were engaged to identify the nature of the challenge from their perspective, and suggest next steps for policy and practice interventions. 

    Dame Barbara Stocking, President of Murray Edwards College, commented: “Ensuring young people from developing countries have meaningful work is one of our biggest challenges for the future. We need to understand the issues surrounding youth employment, and develop policies and interventions that make a positive difference. The report and the workshop are helping us to take a step in the right direction – more than ever we understand that in devising new initiatives, we must involve young people - our ‘Game Changers’ -  in assessing what solutions might work best for them.”

    Getting by: young people’s working lives 

    The research for the ‘Getting by: young people’s working lives’ report was led by Dr Anna Barford (Bye Fellow in Human Geography and Director of Studies) in collaboration with Rachel Coombe (a geographer at the University of Cambridge, with research interests in youth, employment and housing). The report itself draws on existing research and presents new findings on young people’s experiences of work. 

    Getting by: young people's working lives (version 1 – single pages)

    Getting by: young people's working lives (version 2 – double page spreads)

    To find out more, please visit the Department of Geography website.