El Salvador – A Smarter Approach to Youth Employment

El Salvador is a relatively small country, but with a significant problem with youth unemployment. ILO helped the government devise a smart solution, including an integrated online package of employment and social support for the young, that could lay the foundations for a new generation of national employment policies.

Web page | 10 December 2021


At-a-glance achievements

Youth unemployment in El Salvador is nearly twice the national average. The country’s government has developed a Youth Employment Roadmap as one of the main initiatives on employment recovery and revitalise the country’s economy and asked ILO to provide technical support to help bring it to life.

Key elements of our support included:
  • Establishing profiles of different types of unemployed and labour informal conditions of youths: Unemployment and informality is often analysed through quite a narrow lens, typically by age and socio-economic status. We carried out a more in-depth analysis of El Salvador’s lack of employment solutions for youth and labour informality by gender, education, work experience and urban-rural location, amongst other variables. This not only revealed that lack of employment and informality affects different types of youths differently, but also enabled us to identify five broad profiles of unemployed and labour informality of youths. These ranged from educated, urban youths with work experience all the way to those in rural areas, living below the poverty line and never having worked.
  • Developing support packages for each profile, with personalised guidance: For each profile, a step-by-step employment and social welfare support trajectory was created. The types of support offered at each step might differ depending on the individual’s requirements. Across all profiles, more than 20 public programs for youths will be available, covering issues such as strengthening of human talent, access to youth employment, development of entrepreneurship, and employment counselling. Importantly, each young person will be supported throughout the process by a Youth Labour Companion, ensuring a personalised approach.
  • Bringing together a range of partners to provide the services: With the ILO’s support, The three major public governing bodies of economy, labour and youth have agreed to work together for the first time to help provide the necessary services, together with a range of private sector players. These are the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and the National Institute for Youth (INJUVE).
  • Creating an integrated portal for all the services: We helped create a website where youths can access all the services they need – the first time these services have been brought together on a single, convenient site.

Moving forward

In early 2022, we will be piloting the online service, with the aim of rolling it out nationwide later in the year.