Most countries are faced with arduous problems over placement, in the various sectors of organized activity, of young people between 14 and 18 years of age who do not have the requisite qualifications for any specific employment.
The competition for jobs drives wages down to below subsistence levels for these youths and leads to their exploitation. Large pools of unskilled, cheap labour have not been incorporated in national and local developmental programmes, although their accumulated efforts could bring substantial social improvements. Governmental programmes are lacking, which is not surprising since cheap labour is in the interests of profiteers: only a large number of unemployed youth guarantees low wage levels. In the USA in 1993, only 3.2% of college graduates were unemployed, while the figure was 11.5% for high school dropouts.