European Union and UNDP partner to enhance the skills and employability of Mongolia’s youth

May 7, 2024

Joint Opinion Editorial 

One out of three Mongolians is under the age of 35. Being young in Mongolia is not easy: indeed, statistics show a great sense of frustration among Mongolia’s youth. The UNDP's 2023-2024 Human Development Report highlights that young individuals globally feel distressed by their inability to influence or adapt to changes spurred by crises like climate change, conflicts, and social disparities. The lack of jobs further impacts the sentiment and brain drain remains a major source of concern for Mongolia’s economy and society.

Addressing these concerns requires a comprehensive and inclusive strategy that encompasses education, employment, social inclusion, and active participation. Mongolia's sustainable development is inextricably linked to empowering and engaging its youth.

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) strongly believe that Mongolian youth can be not only beneficiaries of development but active architects of their country's future. One of the preconditions is the improvement of their skills and employability, enabling young people to harness their talents, drive innovation, and contribute to both economic and social progress. It is essential for youth in Mongolia to be actively involved in shaping and realizing the decisions that impact their lives.

Mongolian youth gather at the Sukhbaatar square for the “SDG Open Day” event.

UNDP Mongolia

Increasing employability requires to bridge the gap between job seekers and the market. The UNDP flagship 'Profiling' employment service, financed by the European Union, has already supported over 20,000 job seekers in navigating the labor market, proving especially beneficial for young people by providing personalized employment strategies, career counseling, skill development, and job placement support. We are proud to see the young people who have found a job through the initiative.

Beneficiaries of the 'Profiling' service. Read one of the beneficiaries: Uranzaya's inspiring story here

Prioritizing inclusive education and skill development is another objective. We have initiated a two-year program with an inclusive curriculum at the Rehabilitation, Training, and Production Center in Ulaanbaatar for students with disabilities. The encouraging outcomes, evidenced by the successful employment of many graduates and the program's expansion to additional institutions, demonstrate the impactful nature of focused educational initiatives. Young persons with disabilities, including those suffering mental health issues, must be better integrated in Mongolia’s economy and given their rightful place in society.

A man receives career counseling services at the “Inclusive Job Mediation Event 2023”.

UNDP Mongolia

A third dimension of our joint endeavor is about nurturing the entrepreneurial skills of young people. Empowering them with the resources and opportunities for entrepreneurship is not only an investment in individual dreams but also a crucial strategy to foster innovation, stimulate economic growth, and build a resilient future for Mongolia. Here, we work with leading technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and roll out entrepreneurship training programs to cultivate the next generation of business leaders, incorporating essential entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills into their education.

Youth engage in a workshop during the “Sustainable Future” event.

UNDP Mongolia

To effectively improve the skills and employability of Mongolia’s youth, we work hard on the ground, in all regions of Mongolia. Regional development is key to provide more opportunities for young people and limit the urban over-concentration.

We also insist on the inclusiveness of our actions. True development is inclusive: it must benefit all segments of society and ensure that no one is left behind. We look with concern at the lack of progress in poverty reduction in Mongolia and at the high number of young, educated people who chose to live abroad. Our efforts aim to close the gap for young people, by providing equal access to job opportunities through initiatives such as ‘Inclusive Job Mediation’. 

Over 50 people with disabilities actively seeking work and 10 employers offering approximately 300 job openings participated in the “Inclusive Job Mediation Event 2023”.

UNDP Mongolia

As the world navigates an era of unprecedented change and dangers, the EU and UNDP will continue to actively engage with Mongolia’s youth with the view to fully implement the Sustainable Development Goals in this country. Political and economic leaders must understand that the frustration generated by young people who have no hope for the future is a major source of insecurity in today’s world.

Through our joint interventions, we see the effectiveness of targeted, tailored, and inclusive approaches to support the skills and employability of Mongolia’s youth. However, to achieve nationwide impact, we ask the local and national Governments to take full ownership and leadership by integrating these interventions into national policies and programmes. 

The EU and UNDP stand with you, Mongolia’s youth, to shape a more prosperous, equal, and resilient future for all. We count on your energy for addressing global challenges, from climate change to economic disparity. We will continue our efforts to equip you with the necessary skills, knowledge, and opportunities.

H.E. Axelle Nicaise, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of European Union to Mongolia, and Ms. Matilda Dimovska, UNDP Resident Representative in Mongolia, present certificates at the “Inclusive Job Mediation Event 2023”.

UNDP Mongolia