Youth and the Future of Work in the Cook Islands
Recently, the Labour and Consumer Division attended two important meetings under the International Labour Organisation (ILO), one regional with other pacific island member states and one international with all member states of the organisation. Attendance at these meetings resulted in an awareness of the fact that around the world, profound changes in the nature of work are underway. Numerous drivers such as demographic shifts, climate change, technological innovation, poverty and growing inequality, economic stagnation, account for these changes and has urged the ILO to launch the Future of Work (FOW) Centenary Initiative in 2013. Youth and climate change have been two most critical issues of the future of work in the Pacific region.
Future of Work is a theme from the ILO, which explains the initiative to think, discuss and become proactive about work-related issues in our future. It is seen as a contribution to the cause of social justice and was launched in a context of great uncertainty and insecurity, and of fear that direction of change in the world of work is away from, not towards, the achievement of social justice.
Youth play an important role towards nation building and its future aspirations. The high youth unemployment rate is a chronic issue in the Pacific and will impact negatively on future economic development. The urgency therefore lies with the need to find potential and viable strategies that would encourage youth entrepreneurship and putting more youth in employment and to positively harness young people’s potential across the national and international labour markets.
For small island states of the Pacific, the physical impact of climate change, such as rising sea levels and increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters is phenomenal and particularly devastating. Climate change poses an enormous dilemma for the governments of the pacific region to retain the balance of development at home and decent job opportunities for youth migrating to other countries. The aftermath of devastating natural disasters results in dysfunctional social and economic systems and the questions around policy response to such negative impacts are important. In addition, concerns lay also on the importance of building the resilience of our youth to prepare, prevent and minimize the negative impacts of climate change in their future of work.
The purpose of the Youth and Future of Work in the Cook Islands Survey is to have first-hand feedback from the Youth of our country. Our national economy is hugely reliant on tourism which is itself dependent on climate change. The questions to our youth are about their aspirations as future employers, employees of our country and their vision of how they will be contributing to our economic development. Most importantly, their contribution can inform us on the strategies we need to put in place now to allow positive harnessing of their potential and assist them in their development and transition from school into the world of work.
The survey is a collaboration between the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Youth and Labour Division) and the Ministry of Education. The Government would like to include all Youth into this dialogue, starting with the ones who are within the formal education structure. The survey is available online through our websites (MOE and INTAFF) as well as on our face book pages (INTAFF and Labour and Consumer page). The link will be shared to all general stakeholders, encouraging them to engage their children in the activity for maximum participation.
The link to the Survey is:
Join Us in shaping the future of work in the Cook Islands !
Contact: Labour and Consumer Division, Ministry of Internal Affairs. [email protected]