Inclusion and Work: addressing the Global Challenges for Youth Employment

Special issue call for papers from Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Full productive employment and decent work for all, particularly for women and young people, is reported as one of the most effective routes out of poverty (International Labour Organisation, 2015a). The right to work concerns the concept that people have a human right to work, or engage in productive employment (see the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). The United Nations recently released the Sustainable Development Goals (including Goal 8 - Decent work) and Goal 4 which states that by 2030, there is a need to substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have the relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship (United Nations, 2015).

There are, of course, a number of challenges related to these targets. For example, it has been estimated that over 600 million new jobs will need to be created by 2030, to keep pace with the growth of the global working age population – this equates to approximately 40 million jobs per year (ILO 2015b). The recent global recession has affected transitions from education to work in the US, Europe and elsewhere where youth unemployment in some countries has reached previously unheard of levels. For example in Spain, 48 per cent of the 16-24 year olds do not currently work. Standing (2011) maintains that, on a global basis “many millions” of people can be described as belonging to the ‘precariat’, due to the labour market instability they endure through unemployment, underemployment and unsatisfying employment. Such precarious jobs do not support a decent work agenda and do not provide structured career trajectories.  Consequently, the ILO’s strategy for promoting full, productive and freely chosen employment includes the following:

1. The need for coordinated and coherent policies to generate inclusive job-rich growth;
2. Skills development policies to increase the employability of young workers, the competitiveness of enterprises and inclusiveness and
3. Policies and programmes to promote sustainable enterprises and entrepreneurship.

As a result, this call for papers will focus on those that address the above topics including:

-How youth ‘work-readiness’ can be improved;
-Industry/education collaborations that help increase youth employability;
-How governments, industry and education providers may work together to improve opportunities for (decent) work/youth employment;
-Studies highlighting inclusion and work practices for various employment/social groups;
-Country studies that offer insights into the challenges of the decent work agenda; and
-Innovative studies that illustrate exemplar policies, practices and cases. 

If you have any queries, please contact one of the co-editors:

John Burgess is a Professor of HRM. Areas of interest where he has published extensively encompass: work, workplaces and labour market policy, particularly in relation to contingent labour. John has been the recipient of numerous grants on related topics and is on the editorial board of 5 human resource management/industrial relations journals.

Julia Connell, is an adjunct Professor of Management, Curtin Business School, Curtin University and Director, Researcher Development at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Julia has published over 80 refereed journal articles and book chapters, co-edited 5 books and over 15 special issue journal volumes. Key research areas focus on employment, organisational effectiveness and change management.

Important dates:
January 1, 2017 Submission open
April 30, 2017  Deadline for submission

Papers must follow Emerald journal guidelines

International Labour Organisation (2015a) Decent Work Agenda, accessed 27/11/15
ILO (2015b) Decent work and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, accessed 30/11/2015
Keep, E. (2012). Youth transitions, the labour market and entry into employment: some reflections and questions. SKOPE Research Paper, (108), May 2012
United Nations (2015) Sustainable Development Goals,
Standing, G. (2011). The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London, Bloomsbury Academic