The Podcast

To imagine a youth-centered future of work and set out practical steps to achieve it, we need to bring different voices together: the youth, the private sector, and civil societies.

Latest episode:

Episode 3

The case for decent work

“This is the time to leave no one behind because we can’t simply afford it anymore. We need all the talent on the labour market.”

What is decent work? What do young people value in employment? What role does a living income play in making a job decent? In this episode, decent work experts and youth underline what decent and meaningful work means and, more importantly, what the risks are of not prioritizing decent work as an employer. The episode explores some practical steps employers can take to provide young people with decent jobs.

The speakers

Patience Kikoni

Patience has over 15 years of experience managing economic growth and social investment programmes across Africa. She is currently the Country Lead for the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment in Uganda, overseeing the portfolio and project delivery in the country. Patience previously worked as a Senior Technical Advisor for the UK-funded NU-TEC Market System Development Program, which aimed at supporting agribusinesses in Northern Uganda to increase investment and job creation. Her other focus areas have been supporting small and growing businesses in East Africa to transition to more entrepreneurial and investment-ready models.

Sonja van Lieshout

As head of global public affairs at Randstad, Sonja is responsible for global public affairs with a focus on developing the global strategic public affairs agenda, including advocacy, strategic stakeholder engagement, and thought leadership. Her network consists of, amongst others, the ILO, IOE, OECD, European Institutions, business networks, think tanks, academia, and social partners such as central employers organizations and Trade Unions in the ecosystem of the world of work. As a member of the global board of the World Employment Confederation and the Executive Committee, her main drive is strategically contributing to the development of the employment & recruitment industry on both global and European levels. Next to this, she chairs the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on behalf of the employers. In her private life, she is a member of the Executive Board of the UP Foundation, an organization focussing on the well-being of parents of special needs children, ensuring these parents are provided with relaxing and inspiring moments, not thinking of their care-taking responsibilities in order to return fully recharged to their families.

Episode 2

For youth, by youth, with youth

“For youth, by youth, with youth means not only inviting youth to the table but allowing them to have active participation at the table.”

Engaging youth is indispensable for creating meaningful jobs for young people; it also adds significant business value, creating a competitive advantage for businesses. In this episode, we uncover how youth participation makes a win-win scenario for young people and private entities and how we can authentically engage with youth to avoid tokenism.

The speakers

Essene Tighe

Having started as a youth volunteer on an overseas development programme in India, Shiny now has almost ten years of experience in working with youth, with a focus on the practice of meaningful youth engagement. She is passionate about working with committees of young people to co-design and set up large global youth networks, tackling issues that affect young people. Having worked for both the private and public sectors, Essene (Shiny) has developed effective and innovative strategies, methods, and tools to support and advise young people and organizations to understand and embed meaningful youth engagement in the context of their organisation, programme, and project. Since meaningful youth engagement is a term that is still relatively new to a lot of organisations, Shiny has developed human-centered design techniques to ensure youth and organisations are at the centre of designing meaningful youth engagement practices.

Lisette Westerhuis

Lisette is a social investment strategist and owner of an impact consultancy firm.

In her early twenties, she left for Tanzania, where her passion for combining impact and business was born, and she turned a leading social business around to profitability within the first year. Now, she works on solving some of the most pressing challenges and finding high-impact solutions for and with diverse teams at leading impact investors and social investment funds across emerging markets. Lisette is a true believer in the business value of investing in impact and the competitive advantage a young and inclusive workforce can create.

Episode 1

Youth unemployment and the future of jobs 

“Young people are becoming more assertive and speaking up. This encourages private organizations to listen to them and take them seriously.”

Youth unemployment is growing in Africa. Every year, around 12 million young people enter the labour market, while only 3 million jobs are created. The magnitude of the problem means new innovative approaches become necessary to tackle this issue. This episode outlines how the employment market looks in Kenya and Nigeria, what opportunities the economies create, and how youth’s potential can be a driving force in finding solutions.

The speakers

Joost Verwilghen

Joost has been working in international development for over 25 years, mainly managing and supporting private development initiatives to promote economic growth and reduce poverty. Over the years, he has worked directly with private sector companies as well as on Market Systems Development programs for a range of funders and clients. Currently, Joost is the Team Leader of the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment, a fund supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Beatrice Gichohi

Beatrice is a business development professional with more than 15 years of experience in supporting organizations to develop agile solutions in HR, Financial Management, Marketing, access to finance and markets, as well as overall entrepreneurship. She has supported youth employment initiatives in the past through skills development, mentorship, and business development support for youth-led SMEs. She holds an MBA in strategic management and Human Resource management.

Nneka Enwonwu

Nneka is a private sector development consultant with over 21 years of experience delivering high-quality services to clients in the private and public sectors and donor agencies, including the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office), Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, World Bank, and the International Finance Corporation. She has worked in sectors such as healthcare, agriculture/agro-processing, oil and gas, education, and financial services and has supported employment creation initiatives in those sectors. For the last two years, Nneka has worked on a large youth employment programme and provides technical support to various organisations implementing youth employment projects in Nigeria.

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Meet the host

Kevin Eustatia

Youth Policy Advisor, Kevin Eustatia, invites different guests to discuss the most pressing issues in youth employment.

Kevin is a Youth Engagement Expert and consultant. He has spent years working in and with governments, NGOs, and companies to promote and implement meaningful youth participation (MYP) within their policies and strategies. He is currently a member of the Youth Advisory Committee of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he advises the Ministry on their foreign policy relating to development cooperation from a youth perspective. He was born and raised in Curaçao, where he experienced first-hand how detrimental the systemic lack of youth engagement can be. He has been fighting for meaningful youth participation ever since.

About this podcast

Future Economies Start with Youth

Youth employment conversations are multi-faceted and complex. That is why, we have created a new space to explore the richness of these topics: our Future Economies Start with Youth podcast.

Through this initiative, we aim to highlight youth perspectives and dive deep into the structural roadblocks in youth employment. What are the challenges youth face when looking for a job? What are their personal stories? How can companies work with youth to navigate employment barriers?

Future Economies Start with Youth will unite experts and young people and encourage them to establish joint visions for a future of decent employment for youth.

In each episode, Youth Policy Advisor, Kevin Eustatia, invites different guests to discuss the most pressing issues in youth employment. Watch episodes on decent work, inclusion, gender equality, youth engagement, and much more below!

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