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where to from here?

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where to from here?

Posted by Dragan Radic at December 04. 2009

Hi , my name is Dragan Radic, Senior Employer's Specialist - ILO Bangkok

And hi to you Arun, we meet last year when I came to Turin if you remember?

Look, just general comment first – I came across this site - very good initiative - well done. I have few questions/suggestions re this site/initiative/  

First, how do we attract wider audience and how do we make this site more visible?… how do we get employers, employer’s organisations, unions, youth organisations globally, but also youth that are unemployed, employed, or entrepreneurs to participate – in practical way. I suggest someone develops marketing plan re this platform –

Second issue is the role of this platform – could it be more practical – I understand the theme for this debate and it is interesting to have debates on “flexicurity” and few other things covered here( I admit I did not have time to read all postings) but as I understand these debates are taking place quite often within the  ILO and outside the ILO with or without this platform. We all know that the right balance between flexibility and security is not easily achieved (employers want more flexibility and works more security) and at the end of the day this balanced is decided at the national level by the each government with (hopefully) or without social partners.

It would be good if these kind of debates could become more practical in the future– perhaps we should try to attract and then hear directly from young people globally what are the ways of dealing with unemployment e.g. it would be good to hear from few young entrepreneurs, just employed young people, unemployed etc.. – and get them to talk about their concerns,  personal marketing skills, how to score a job interview, how to put a foot in the door (internship) voluntary work, part time work etc… what works what does not etc, what are the obstacles e.g. lack of experience (catch 22) skills that are not in demand or practical enough to employers, not enough jobs…also to hear from employers directly their concerns, from youth organisations etc... 

As for the employers, there are some employer’s organisation in the region that have taken active steps in promoting youth employment. VCCI in Vietnam has organised number of “business clinics” to teach young people basic business skills e.g. how to write a business plan, how to get a loan etc… In Cambodia, CAMFEBA has also recognised there is huge challenge when it comes to youth employment. They organised number of activities to link employers with training institutions, designed internship placement programme and already placed number of young people in real employment context, created and run employability skills programme etc

Take care and well done all for committing your time and energy into this

Onwards and upwards



Re: where to from here?

Posted by Goy Phumtim at December 05. 2009

Dear Dragan,

Thank you for your post and great observations.  As a bit of background information, the APYouthNet community began with only a small group of 30+ practitioners and professionals with expertise and the passion to solve the youth employment challenge.  In November 2008, this group met in Bangkok to come up with a plan/roadmap for the community (  Since then, each of those core members became “APYouthNet Ambassadors” in their countries to spread the word and contribute to the organic growth of the community.


We have conducted targeted campaigns reaching out to other youth groups and networks to build on each others strengths.  In the weeks leading up to this most recent discussion forum, a concerted effort was also made to invite youth themselves to join and participate as equal members of the APYouthNet portal.  This enhances the role of APYouthNet to have more practical and real-life voices from youth about what is affecting them (similar to what you have suggested).


Furthermore, as many may have already noticed, the APYouthNet portal is undergoing constant enhancements.  The current improvements which will be completed in the coming weeks will make the site more interactive (e.g. blogs/webboards/polls).


I just wanted to briefly respond to your question but to avoid deviating this away from the discussion forum's topic, I have started a blog post where others can respond with some ideas of how we can improve APYouthNet and grow stronger as a community.


Blog post:


All the best,


Re: where to from here?

Posted by arun kumar at December 06. 2009

hi Dragan,

happy to see your comments and in the spirit I agree with things you say. 

Its bit late now but it would have been great if some employers had also added to this discussion - perhaps next time. Or better still, would be great if ILO BKK organized a tripartite workshop on this issue focusing on employment and working conditions for youth.

as for this platform's possibility or potential for being 'more practical', - if by this you mean involvement of more directly concerned people - the affected as well as those who can affect - yes, ideally that should be the case but I would imagine most of these are too busy either trying to find jobs or managing their businesses :) - still, I think we do have many relevant people on this forum - seeing the contributions that everyone has made.

It would be nice if you can post more information on the initiatives employers have taken to promote decent jobs - that would contribute to the learning.

best wishes


Re: where to from here?

Posted by Shaun Kennedy at December 06. 2009

Hello Goy. Shaun in Vanuatu here. I thought Dragan has raised some very constructive points, and it was most interesting to read your reply on the history of APYN. I think this discussion forum is a great initiative and it has been my pleasure to participate in all three in 2009. However, I do think there is room for improvement. This third forum is more better organised than the previous two so that is progress in the right direction. I applaud Goy in not being defensive and in fact opening a blog forum for comments. Well done Goy - really excellent.

Personally I am disappointed there has not been more engagement from the Pacific in this forum or the previous ones. At the end of the day, its a personal choice of whether to engage or not. Unfortunately the views from the Pacific have not been represented satisfactorily in any of the APYN forums in 2009, and I do hope we can improve on that in 2010.

One exciting initiative which will benefit APYN is the ILO Pacific YEP recently formalising a service contract with the Pacific Youth Council to promote information and communication exchange related to YE. The PYC will have a much wider and more direct network to Pacific youth than ILO has or probably will ever have, so i hope we can really do something positive and practical with this partnership in early 2010. 

I agree with Dragan's call for a more practical orientation to the discussion. Several of my tripartite and youth colleagues in Vanuatu expressed an interest in this and previous forums, but no-one ever actually engaged in the e-discussion. Confidence in writing in English is one issue, but another is the direction of the discussion.  Start off questions which are too broad and / or conceptual discourages their participation I believe.

The Pacific region gets lost within the Asia-Pacific region. Or population figures are dwarfed by our Asian neighbours, and the profile of our issues is very much reduced.

I suggest APYN consider a Pacific region only discussion forum. Or even a intra-region forum - Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia etc.

If the discussion is of a more practical orientation, then the information gathered could also contribute to research and evidence based programming and policy advocacy.

I am not sure if this or previous APYN discussion forums could be used effectively as research material or advocacy materials and personally i think that is an opportunity missed.

I will continue this discussion in the 'post your thoughts' blog Goy has just opened, and I do hope to 'see' Dragan, Goy, Valentina and the other APYN advocates there.

Congratulations to APYN for a great 2009 and best wishes for an even better 2010.


Shaun in Vanuatu. 

Re: where to from here?

Posted by Henrik Vistisen at December 06. 2009

Dear Dragan, Goy, Arun, Shaun and all,


Boosting membership of AP YouthNet and youth interest in virtual discussions


I share your concern as to what we can do to boost participation of particularly youth as well as ILO constituents, partner and stakeholders in our discussion forums. For your information we did a bit of marketing of the APYouthNet site at our recent annual review and future directions workshop 2009 under the Youth Employment Project (ILO/Japan).


The review workshop 2009 entailed a break-up training session on AP YouthNet. The session introduced 20 participants from to the virtual Community of Practitioners (CoP) and ensured registration as members on the site and hands on guidance to the functionalities of APYouthNet.


The group comprised youth entrepreneurs, scholars, mentors, trade unionists, Chamber of Commerce members and line ministry officials (labour, nation building & education). You can read more about the initiative here:


I know it’s just a drop in the ocean – but that’s what oceans are made of ;).  And the Pacific initiative with the Youth Council sounds truly interesting. Looking forward to learn about outcomes and achievements.


Best regards, Henrik in Sri Lanka


Re: where to from here?

Posted by Henrik Vistisen at December 06. 2009

Dear Dragan and all,


Youth (entrepreneurs’) involvement in APYouthNet


I was interested to read your posting especially on how to practically get the message across on youth employment and also hear from youth themselves – especially youth entrepreneurs. You certainly have a point that this poses a challenge and that further promotion needs to be done.


FYI, the Youth Employment Project (ILO/Japan) in Sri Lanka has a component on youth entrepreneurship where we:


  1. Train trainers in ILO’s global SIYB methodology and product with a view for them to train ultimate beneficiaries i.e. youth entrepreneurs
  2. Train business persons (mentors) from local Chambers of Commerce to provide mentorship to local young entrepreneurs
  3. Provide Knowledge About Business (KAB) to vocational training institutions, youth corps camps and individual schools for youth entrepreneurship awareness raising, and
  4. Build capacity of Chambers of Commerce to boost business clusters and women entrepreneurship


As you say, the real challenge is to get all the good people already involved in youth employment interventions in this project in Sri Lanka and throughout Asia Pacific – to the extend possible – also involved in the APYouthNet virtual Community of Practitioners (CoP).


You might wish to read further about these project interventions - and how they have benefitted individual youth in a practical manner - on the following pages:


Business mentorship for young people:


Youth entrepreneurship through SIYB training:


Business clusters to boost youth employment:


Best regards, Henrik in Sri Lanka


Re: where to from here?

Posted by Rosas Gianni at December 07. 2009

Dear Dragan and Goy,

Apologies for replying here but access to the blog via ILO's internet is blocked at headquarters (Goy you may wish to check for the compatibility).

The suggestions of Dragan are very interesting. One request that we are receiving from other regions (e.g. Latin America and the Caribbean) relates to the review of practices by employers' organizations in attracting young entrepreneurs to become their members. Maybe one of the next forums could be dedicated to this topic.

In line with Dragan's and other colleagues' suggestions, we could envisage a virtual space where participants can post national practices. If so, more than happy to support the preparation of guidelines for the collection of these practices.

Best regards,


Re: where to from here?

Posted by arun kumar at December 07. 2009

Hello every one,

thank you all for posting your thoughts on what all areas we need to focus on for promoting decent work for youth and suggestions for what could be done. It has been a privilege to have been part of this discussion and was a good opportunity for me to learn from you all while contributing my own two bits. I take this opportunity to wish every one the very best. I am sure that Goy and Valentina will continue to follow up and keep promoting such interactions (thank you both for involving me this time).

my last suggestion for all those involved in ILO's youth employment projects - do let me know if you would be interested in co-organizing a face to face workshop for unions in Asia-Pacific on teaching youth some collective bargaining skills - Negotiating and collective bargaining in private sector (I propose a five day workshop, in which organizing youth would also be focused upon) - write to me at

best wishes and happy year end


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