Youth unemployment on the agenda in Washington

Jordan Wren (centre-left), with her colleagues from Global Voices.
Jordan Wren (centre-left), with her colleagues from Global Voices.

Australian youth unemployment will be a Monash University student’s focus at the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC this month.

Master of International Relations student, Jordan Wren, and her five peers make up the Global Voices World Bank and IMF Australian Youth Delegation. The group encourages youth activity in politics and involvement in global issues, promoting social change as a key factor.

The influential World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings are keystone forums that promote discussion on issues of relating to the global economy and financial markets.

Jordan is enthusiastic to explore how youth entering entrepreneurship careers will stimulate the economy and be a possible solution to the high rates of youth unemployment.

At the meetings, she will suggest plans to encourage youth employment like skill training programs, accessibility to financial support, and youth consultation that better identify localised problems.

“Youth unemployment is a global issue, particularly in groups disadvantaged by poor economic conditions. Entrepreneurs can provide more job opportunities because they are more likely to hire previously unemployed people,” Jordan said.

“Young people are innovative and tech-savvy. They have the potential to create a dynamic economy if we give them the tools.”

The Australian group will attend workshops and seminars to network with key international groups and discuss solutions to social issues.

Jordan has already spent three days in Canberra, gaining a range of perspectives from stakeholders, as well as presenting her research ideas with political figures such as Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop.

As a recipient of an Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Award, Jordan said Monash had been an invaluable help by funding the trip.

“I encourage other young people to pursue these opportunities to develop personal skills such as public speaking, and to make use of the opportunity to engage in international relations,” Jordan said.

The group delegation is coordinated by Global Voices is a non-profit organisation aiming to provide a platform for youths to internationally engage with issues of politics, economics and social development.

Jordan is also undertaking a Research Fellowship and will explore the issues covered at the meetings in a paper published by Global Voices.

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