FULL LIST OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

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.
  • 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.

BLOG: Cities as Drivers of Economic Opportunity for Youth

Making Cents International

According to the recently released United Nations report (“World Urbanization Prospects”), more than half of humanity now lives in cities. Today, 54% of the world’s population, 3.9 billion people, resides in urban areas, compared to only 30% back in 1950. The report predicts that cities will add an additional 2.5 billion people by 2050, with nearly 90% of this increase happening in Asia and Africa.

BLOG: Workforce Development: A shift into high gear

RTI

This year’s Workforce Development Track of the Making Cents conference saw more than a tenfold increase in proposal submissions and will feature a record number of panelists across nine distinct workforce themed panels. The lineup of proposals and participants provides terrific insight into the range and diversity of workforce issues that the development community and countries at large are grappling with, including public private partnerships, work-based learning interventions, soft-skills measurement, technology applications, career development practices and mentorship programs.     

REPORT: Youth Think Tank Report 2015-2016, June 2016

The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation Youth Think Tank is a research group made up of young people who are recruited to conduct research in their communities, make recommendations based on their findings, and advise the Foundation. The 2015-2016 Youth Think Tank conducted research into economic opportunities for youth in East Africa and found that young people across the region face similar aspirations and challenges.

Resource Type: 
Report

WEBINAR: From Citizen Security to Food Security: A Cross-Sector Discussion of Violence in Central America, June 20, 2016

ORGANIZER: 
Feed The Future, AGRILINKS
DATE: 
Jun 20, 2016 (03:00am to 04:00am)

The high prevalence of violence in Central America is a major human and institutional development challenge that the Feed the Future project, Innovation for Agricultural Training and Education (InnovATE), has identified as affecting agriculture development.  InnovATE specifically investigated high violence in Central America, in relation to high education dropout rates, and concluded that violence in the region is a pervasive, complex issue that requires a pervasive, complex response from multiple sectors working to end hunger and poverty.

FELLOWSHIP: Overseas Fellowship with Atlas Corps, June 2016

Atlas Corps

Atlas Corps seeks nonprofit/NGO professionals from around the world to apply for Fellowships in the U.S. Atlas Corps engages leaders committed to the nonprofit sector in 6-18 month, professional fellowships at organizations to learn best practices, build organizational capacity, and return home to create a network of global leaders. Fellows serve at Host Organizations working on issues that complement their expertise. This prestigious fellowship includes a living stipend to cover basic expenses (food, local transportation, and shared housing) and health insurance.

BLOG: Skills Training and Economic Restructuring to Create Jobs for Young People in Africa

INCLUDE

Africa is a ‘youthful’ continent. In 2015, the number of African youth aged 15–24 years was estimated at 229.6 million, or 19.4% of the total population, with the 486 million children under 15 years making up another 40.9%. Moreover, unlike in other parts of the world where youth populations have plateaued or are in decline, the proportion of youth in Africa is expected to continue to rise in the coming decade. Thus, if only because of their numerical strength, young people’s choices, opportunities and challenges will be crucial in shaping the future of their countries. 

SUMMIT: Applications are Open for BYLC Youth Leadership Summit 2016, June2016

Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC)

The Youth Leadership Summit 2016 will bring together 500 university students and young professionals, competitively selected from Bangladesh and around the world, and 50 distinguished national and international speakers for three days of exploration, leadership training, and networking. The Summit will feature a mix of plenaries and concurrent panels on issues ranging from identities and values to education, entrepreneurship, and social innovation. Previous Summit speakers have included Harvard and MIT faculty as well as globally renowned leaders from public, private, and civil sectors.

BLOG: University Degrees are not the Answer for Africa’s Unemployed Youth, June 2016

Quartz Africa

As a child, my friend Fola was good at math and excelled in the sciences and he wanted to be an engineer. But losing both his parents before the age of 15 changed everything. He was forced to adapt to a new and limited scope of opportunities available to him, both academically and financially. As he did, he learned how to deal with the trauma, adversity and setbacks and he built a high level of resilience. There are so many people like Fola who are bright and motivated, but due to challenging circumstances may not have a typical CV or resumé listing the universities they attended and the financial firms where they’ve worked.

WEBINAR RESOURCES: Youth Voices: Changing Narratives and Engaging Youth

RTI International, The GroundTruth Project, Education for Employment, National Journal Communications Council

First person accounts of “lived experience” have the power to change global narratives and effect real change, as seen in movements as diverse as marriage equality, Black Lives Matter, eliminating extreme poverty, fighting climate change, and promoting girls education. Would better first person accounts counter unfair youth development narratives? i.e. Blame youth, fear youth, give up on youth. Many have identified that the global conversation about youth is too often missing the voices of youth. Organizations that support youth understand the importance of helping youth tell their stories, but do we do so in dynamic ways that maximize impact? Join RTI International, The GroundTruth Project, Education for Employment, and the National Journal in an important conversation on effective storytelling.

Resource Type: 
E-Resource

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