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.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.

 

Seeking Youth Representative for the Workforce Connections Advisory Board - Apply by June 13

Purpose:

Workforce Connections seeks a youth representative for its Advisory Board – a group of thought leaders that will set research priorities, leverage funding for research, and provide links to key actors in WFD arena – in order to advance thinking on key technical themes for the field of international youth workforce development.

Background:

Youth Employment Project in Bangladesh Wins ILO Good Practice Contest

A Bangladeshi youth employment project “From Margin to Mainstream” won one of the first prizes in a good practice contest organized by the ILO and featured on MTV. The project helps young people with disabilities step into the labour market and become agents of change.

10x10: Hacking education, one startup at a time.

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
Global Entrepreneurship Week
Event Date: 
Sep 20, 2014 (All day) to Sep 23, 2014 (All day)

This fall, 70 young adults will congregate in Croatia for 10x10, a hackathon to tackle challenges facing education on a global level.

Innovative technology is poised to revolutionize the way people learn on a global level. With countries from around the world being represented on teams, the diversity in cultures and experience will contribute to new perspectives on such a universal subject as education.

IAVE Youth Conference

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
International Association of Volunteer Effort (IAVE), Volunteering Australia
Event Date: 
Sep 15, 2014 (All day) to Sep 17, 2014 (All day)

The conference is a residential conference with registration fees including accommodation and conference attendance.

The Value of Higher Education in Development: A Conversation with 2014 YALI Washington Fellows on Education and Youth Entrepreneurship

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development
Event Date: 
Jul 29, 2014 (05:00pm to 06:30pm)

In June 2014, 500 young African leaders demonstrating exemplary entrepreneurial and civic leadership arrived in Washington D.C. to participate in the first ever Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Washington Fellowship, a six-week academic and training program that seeks to prepare the next generation of African leaders for the 21st century, which will culminate with a three-day Presidential Summit for Washington Fellows on July 28.

How to inspire a generation of farming entrepreneurs: A new report outlines how Africa's youth can find employment in agriculture without getting their hands dirty

When we talk about African development, there is a belief that its booming population can only equal crisis. By 2040, Africa's workforce could be one billion strong, so finding jobs for this young population should be at the forefront of government agenda. This challenge is coupled with Africa's increasing demand for varied and nutritious foods.

Resource Type: 
Article

Strengthening Recovery in Central and Eastern Europe

This Regular Economic Report (RER) is a semiannual publication of the Europe and Central Asia Region, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Department (ECA PREM), The World Bank. It covers economic developments, prospects, and policies in 11 European Union (EU) member states that joined after 2004 (excluding Cyprus and Malta) — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (North); the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and the Slovak Republic, (Continental); and Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia (South). Throughout the RER, for simplicity, we refer to this group of eleven countries as the EU11.

Resource Type: 
Report

SAGE World Cup 2014

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE)
Event Date: 
Aug 8, 2014 (All day) to Aug 13, 2014 (All day)

The 2014 SAGE World Cup will be taking place in Moscow, Russia from August 8-13. 

Ndaba Mandela, grandson of the late Nelson Mandela, will attend the SAGE World Cup 2014 in Moscow Russia on August 8-12. He will serve as the keynote speaker at the Awards Ceremony on August 11. Currently, a total of 16 country delegations will travel to Moscow to determine who will be this year's SAGE champion. At least three more countries will be attending as observers.

Technology, teaching and learning – What can we learn from the evidence?

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
Tech Salon London
Event Date: 
Jul 25, 2014 (08:30am to 10:30am)

In August, the Department for International Development (DFID) will publish a new evidence paper exploring the relationship between education technology, teaching and learning in low and lower-middle income countries. Based on a review of over 80 studies, this paper aims to inform governments, NGOs, donors, the private sector and schools about how to use technology in schools by learning from the evidence.

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