Workforce Development

Overview

Workforce development initiatives build the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that youth need to obtain and participate in productive work. Activities in this area strive to bring the private and public sector together to ensure that education improves both the workforce readiness and technical skills necessary for youth to participate in the world of work effectively.

Where are we now?

Workforce development as a field is hard to generalize due to its many different providers, approaches, and target populations, which range from universities educating highly-skilled medical personnel to community organizations providing basic literacy skills to out-of-school youth.  However, increasing global unemployment and events, such as the Arab Spring, have highlighted a common problem of these providers - their services have not kept pace with changes in the private sector, leading to widespread mismatches between skills available and those demanded. Practitioners are responding through a renewed emphasis on collaboration with the private sector to ensure that educational institutions and community organizations are providing demand-driven skills to students, while employers invest in improved on-the-job training to build the skills of new employees quickly and cost-effectively.

Trends and Best Practices

  • Private sector buy-in is critical in developing the programs that link young people to formal employment opportunities. When the private sector is an invested party with donors and social organizations, there is greater possibility for young people to access employment opportunities as they continuously develop their skills and knowledge.
  • Young people and their families are looking for programs that offer practical and hands on opportunities, such as apprenticeships with trade based companies or internships with companies or NGO's. Some programs offer voucher systems that cover the cost of the internships, which have been particularly successful for young women seeking employment in more conservative countries. Participation in workforce development programs often increases when these practical opportunities for relevant skills application are included.
  • Many vocational institutions are not best placed to develop the technical skills of young people given the high rate of change in technology and the challenges for these institutions to keep pace. The private sector, on the other hand, has to keep pace with the market to remain competitive and therefore offers an alternative housing of skills development offerings.
  • Historically, workforce development focused primarily on building technical skills required for a given trade. However, most programs now recognize the importance of incorporating work-readiness skills, including basic literacy, numeracy, and job conduct. If these skills are lacking, it will make their ability to function in the workplace and learn more specialized vocational skills very weak.1
  • Creating employment opportunities is just as important as skills building and should encompass all types of employment – formal, informal, and self-employment. The latter two are particularly important for vulnerable populations, such as women and youth, who may be excluded from formal employment.

 

Workforce Development: Blogs

Why Measuring Child-Level Impacts Can Achieve Lasting Economic Change

More than 600 million children in developing countries live on less than US$1 a day. Children are deeply affected by poverty, and some effects of poverty, particularly in early childhood, have life-long consequences. The fight for long-term poverty alleviation must account for children’s wellbeing in order to sustainably reduce individuals’ and communities’ vulnerability to the persistent effects of poverty.

The Urgency and Opportunity of Global Youth Workforce Development

Reposted here with permission from CSIS
Original Posting Date: Jan 23, 2014

This commentary is a follow-up to the CSIS Chevron Forum on Global Youth Workforce Development on January 15th, which the authors participated in. The video of the event can be watched here.

Royaume du Maroc - Promouvoir les Opportunités et la Participation des Jeunes

Préparé juste avant le Printemps arabe, ce rapport anticipe les demandes d'inclusion sociale et économique formulée par les jeunes Marocains en particulier après Février 2011. Depuis lors, ces demandes ont été amplifiées et ont atteint un nouveau niveau d'urgence. Cette étude adopte une approche mixte combinant une analyse quantitative et une analyse qualitative et institutionnelle.

Resource Type: 
Report

Morocco - Promoting youth opportunities and participation

This policy note, based on the Morocco Household and Youth Survey (2009-10), analyzes the aspirations of young Moroccans aged 15 to 29 years, their economic and social circumstances, as well as the institutional factors that hinder their economic and social inclusion. This study adopts a mixed method approach combining an innovative quantitative instrument with qualitative and institutional analysis.

Resource Type: 
Report

Baseline Report: Assessment of Competencies, Technical Skills and Needs in Bosnia Herzegovina's ICT Services Sector

Key challenges facing youth include difficulties in obtaining adequate training and practical experience, as well as obtaining jobs and short-­term employment opportunities. Youth also face challenges when launching startups, often lacking technical or business mentorship assistance as well as access to sources of finance. This is particularly the case in the early stages of business development due to underdeveloped investor culture in BiH and the perceived high risks involved with early ventures.

Resource Type: 
Report