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.     

BLOG: Young and female: Double Jeopardy for Women in Uganda’s Job Market, April 2016

INCLUDE

On 8th March 2016, Uganda joined the rest of the world to celebrate women’s day under the theme “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. Although Uganda has made major strides towards gender equality, having achieved a Gender Parity Index (GPI)1 of 1 in primary school enrolment, the struggle for equality in the labour market is still an uphill task. Being young and female continues to pose a twin challenge for the current generation of young women seeking employment. Findings from the 2015 School to Work Transition Survey (SWTS) conducted by Uganda Bureau of Statistics and ILO reveal that young women (15-29 years) are faced with a number of disadvantageous gaps in the labour market: higher unemployment rates, wage gaps, higher shares in vulnerable employment and longer school-to-work transitions. 

WEBINAR: Youth Voices: Changing Narratives and Engaging Youth

ORGANIZER: 
Making Cents International and RTI International
DATE: 
Jun 7, 2016 (09:30am to 10:30am)

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…

BLOG: How Coding Bootcamps are Helping to Tackle Youth Unemployment, April 2016

The World Bank

The emergence of bootcamps in developing countries signals determination of local people and businesses to participate in the digital revolution, but does not guarantee immediate results. The potential impact on employability can be substantial, but needs further testing. Recognizing the need to better understand the impact of bootcamps on employability, the World Bank ICT Innovation Team  launched a Rapid Technology Skills Training Program focused on programming skills, which are among the most demanded (and the most deficient) by employers.

BLOG: Meet the Young CEO Launching Teach For Ghana, February 2016

Devex

Teach For All partner organizations, such as Teach For America, Teach For India and now Teach For Ghana, are bound together by the philosophy that recruiting top talent from diverse backgrounds into the teaching profession for at least two years fosters high quality leadership in education and contributes to ending educational inequity. Proponents of the model stress that it provides an avenue for motivated and high potential candidates to start careers in teaching.

BLOG: The World's Big Solution: Young People, April 2016

Devex

Today’s youth are taking stock of existing systems and measuring the gap between where we are now and where they believe we should be. They are asking governments to be accountable. They want economic systems that work for everyone, not just some. Of course they react strongly to shortsighted policies that fundamentally affect the society and environment they will inherit. They want to be heard, valued and considered as partners in development, for they are the ones who will live with decisions made today.

BLOG: What The U.S. Can Learn From the Way Germany Trains Its Workforce, April 2016

Fast Company

Germany boasts a highly skilled industrial labor force, thanks in large part to a system of vocational training that the U.S. abandoned. The dual education system also contributes to the low levels of youth unemployment in Germany relative to other advanced economies. And while it’s hardly the only factor, the combination of vocational education and apprenticeships ensures the country a steady supply of superbly trained workers—which is one reason why German industries have dominated the development of the Chinese infrastructure, for instance.

BLOG: You Must Hone Your Skills, April 2016

Pamplin College of Business

Jobs are available, but job seekers must acquire in-demand skills or upskill themselves to secure employment. “There just aren’t any jobs. Where are the jobs? We need to create jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs.” This is all we hear today in mainstream media—the lack of jobs. Let’s dispel this myth now. There are jobs and plenty of them. What we must be asking job seekers are: What are you doing to acquire skills that are in demand by employers? Are you willing to humble yourself to take jobs that are “beneath” you? 

Pages