With a global unemployment crisis among the youth looming large, governments and international organizations are right to worry about an alarming rise in the number of young people out of work. Today almost every country is affected by the problem. But the trend is most discernible in the developing world.
The International Labour Office, a specialized agency of the United Nations, estimates that there are about 71 million unemployed youth worldwide and 156 million young workers in emerging and developing countries live in extreme poverty despite being in employment.
Overcoming youth unemployment is particularly daunting against a backdrop of growing poverty, political instability and economic recession in many parts of the world. Given that getting young people into work not only leads to poverty reduction, but may also contribute to peace and stability, creating opportunities for young people is a priority for many organizations around the world that are focused on youth issues.
One of the reasons behind youth unemployment is that recent graduates often lack skills and experience to enter the job market. Young people are also often insufficiently equipped with competences that are in high demand among employers. And this is where internships help young people most. Internships are one way to kickstart a career.
For example, the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) has been offering opportunities to students and graduates from around the world to prepare for jobs in research and development.
Thanks to continued support by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, the Islamic Development Bank, and many others, capacity development and knowledge dissemination have been at the core of ICBA’s research for development work aimed at strengthening national research and development organizations and contributing to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Over the past years, the center has provided internships to large numbers of students from countries like the UAE, USA, Morocco, India, China and others. Every year ICBA selects up to 10 students through its internship program, which offers interns an opportunity to work together with world-renowned scientists and practice in experimental fields and state-of-the-art laboratories. Interns conduct studies and projects on a wide range of subjects, including water and land management, crop diversification and genetics, and climate change modeling and adaptation. They also get a chance to publish their scientific papers as conducting field and laboratory research is one of the prerequisites for publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals and completing theses.
This experience helps to increase their chances of finding employment and making positive contributions in their countries. ICBA is committed to continuing empowering young people to become successful scientists and leaders.
And a new series on ICBA’s capacity-building programs captures some of their stories and experiences.