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

Accenture and Plan International to Help Thousands of Latin American Youth Find Jobs

Originally posted by Plan International on June 23rd, 2015.

June 2015: Accenture and the Accenture Foundations have made a €2.9 million (US$3.3 million) grant to Plan International to help us provide skills training to 4,000 disadvantaged youth in Brazil, Colombia and El Salvador through our Youth Employment Solutions programme.

A Plea for African Apprenticeships

Originally posted by Club Africa. 

Today, 30 to 40 per cent of Africa’s jobs are in the services industries. A figure that will only increase by another 10 to 20 per cent during the years to come. “In tomorrow’s construction, retail and hospitality industries – Africa’s three biggest sectors –learning by heart no longer does the job”, says Devang Vussonji at Dalberg Global Development Advisors. His plea: “What we need are soft skills like critical thinking, teamwork, creativity and a customer-focused mind-set.”

How Ugandan Youth Are Making Money with ICT for Agriculture

Originally posted by ICTworks on June 8, 2015. 

Uganda has the world’s youngest population with over 78 percent of its population below the age of 30. Though the country also has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan Africa, many of Uganda’s young adults have limited interest in pursuing careers in agriculture because they see it as a subsistence livelihood, or simply lack the agribusiness skills, finance and market awareness to make agriculture profitable.

Paving the Way for Post-2015: Unlocking Public and Private Finance Solutions

2014 was a transitional year for development. As countries make a final push toward the Millennium Development Goals while negotiating a new development framework, UNCDF has been an active participant on both fronts.

Resource Type: 
Report

Event Resources: Economic Strengthening for Orphans and Vulnerable Children: A Learning Symposium

On May 6th, 2015, industry leaders met for a stock-taking discussion on Economic Strengthening for Orphans and Vulnerable Children. The event was jointly organized by The SEEP Network and the International Rescue Committee as part of the Accelerated Strategies for Practical Innovation & Research in Economic Strengthening (ASPIRES) project, led by FHI 360 in a consortium of 20 members, working to promote evidence-based state-of-the-art approaches to promote high quality economic strengthening programs for orphans and vulnerable children.

Resource Type: 
Presentation

Trends in Social Innovation

Trends in Social Innovation is the go-to source of information on social innovation in higher education, cataloguing emerging trends, institutional case studies, and comprehensive class directories from colleges and universities around the world.

Resource Type: 
Report