4 Ways to Utilize Blue Economy to Foster Youth Development and Employment Opportunities

Climate change presents a growing danger to vital environmental resources essential for various sectors of the economy, hindering the generation of high-quality jobs and necessitating a reconsideration of conventional economic models.

It is becoming increasingly urgent to integrate environmental sustainability into the structural transformation process. Concurrently, the global employment outlook for young individuals remains uncertain, with youths being 3.2 times more likely to face unemployment compared to adults.

Exploring the contents of the Solutions for Youth Employment Note, specifically the discussion on the Blue Economy and its impact on structural transformation and youth employment, it emphasizes the sustainable utilization of marine resources for economic advancement, enhanced livelihood prospects, and job creation that safeguards the well-being of ocean ecosystems.

Through the concept of the blue economy, economic development can be expedited, ensuring sustained and inclusive growth opportunities for the younger generation.

Here are four ways in which the blue economy can propel advancements towards both economic prosperity and environmental objectives:

1. Navigating the Economic Seas

The prosperity of global oceans contributes to economic progress and plays a vital role in maintaining enduring prosperity. Oceans serve as a critical component for various commercial activities, generating approximately $6 trillion (about 10% of the world’s GDP) in annual global revenue and facilitating the transportation of 80% of internationally traded goods. Projections indicate that this economic value is set to double by 2030.

Furthermore, oceans are a significant source of employment, with over 3 billion individuals, including some of the world’s impoverished populations, relying on healthy oceans for their livelihoods, creating more than 350 million direct and indirect jobs. Healthy oceans not only promote sustainability goals but also aid in climate change mitigation, carbon sequestration, and marine biodiversity preservation.

2. Empowering Youth Through the Blue Economy’s Structural Revitalization

The blue economy serves as a cornerstone in instigating continuous structural transformation, aiding in the seamless transition of young individuals from education to the workforce. With the increase in GDP per capita, job roles become more specialized, efficient, and concentrated in urban areas. Economic production gradually becomes more centered around specific firms, leading individuals to specialize in more intricate tasks.

The activities within the blue economy are instrumental in this progression. As nations advance, the focus of employment shifts from less productive endeavors like traditional farming to higher-yield aquatic food activities such as fisheries and aquaculture. This transition is particularly significant for young job seekers.

3. Empowering Youth Through Lucrative Opportunities in the Blue Economy

The blue economy offers significant opportunities for youth in developing nations. Fisheries typically provide more competitive wages than agriculture, especially in lower-income countries. Young individuals make up a larger proportion of the workforce in fisheries compared to adults, with youth employment rates in fisheries and aquaculture exceeding those of adults.

Additionally, ocean-based economies present beneficial job prospects for youth from rural and less-skilled backgrounds, even during non-peak seasons, fostering a path towards more inclusive economic growth. While advancements like digitalization and automation have increased the skill demands in the sector, they also have the potential to enhance productivity within the blue economy, opening doors for youth eager to acquire modern digital skills.

4. Strategies for Maximizing Employment Opportunities

Effective coordination, supported by accurate data, is crucial for maximizing the employment opportunities within the blue economy and tackling emerging obstacles. Despite the potential of sectors like fisheries within the blue economy to drive structural transformation, they often receive less attention than primary industries such as agriculture due to insufficient data and analysis outlining the sector’s job creation and growth potential.

Challenges hindering youth employment in the blue economy sector include limited understanding of career pathways and challenging business environments. The evolving skill requirements of both traditional and emerging blue economy sectors have led to skill gaps that current technical and vocational education and training systems have yet to address.

A comprehensive strategy is essential to fully realizing the sector’s potential. This strategy should encompass policy interventions focused on:  enhancing the analysis of youth employment data, bridging skill gaps in blue economy sectors, enhancing the appeal and awareness of blue economy careers among youth and fostering youth entrepreneurship and innovation within the blue economy.


Mr. Ogonji is a highly professional and talented journalist with a solid experience in covering compelling stories, reporting facts, and engaging audiences. He is driven to uncover the truth behind today's most pressing issues and share stories that make a genuine impact.

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