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Youth Volunteerism and Skills Development for Economic Empowerment in the Asia-Pacific Region

Today’s economic reality in Asia and the Pacific does not provide a thriving and supportive environment for the 750 million young people living in the region.

The focus of this Issue Brief is to explore to what extent youth volunteerism contributes to the economic empowerment of young people in Asia and the Pacific, due to the skills which may have been developed during volunteering. The Brief is a result of a desk study on volunteering and youth unemployment and underemployment throughout the region, accompanied by a number of interviews with current and former volunteers.

The Issue Brief first breaks down the challenges of youth unemployment, underemployment and informality in Asia and Pacific, as well as rapidly changing skill requirements, which are barriers for young people entering the labor market. The Brief moves on to discuss the various forms of volunteering in the region, as well as the skills volunteers may develop during volunteering. The last section explores which of those skills are relevant to employability and labor market access for young people and discovers the benefits of volunteering for youth entrepreneurship.

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