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.     

NYC Ideathon

ORGANIZER: 
Global Center for Youth Employment, Ford Foundation, and 1776
DATE: 
Jun 15, 2017 (All day) to Jun 16, 2017 (All day)

One third of the world’s 1.8 billion young people are currently neither in education nor employment.

An Ecosytem Model for Credentialing Entrepreneurs

Global Center for Youth Employment & Acceleration Group

The authors propose a model for reducing job-creator loss in regions facing severe youth unemployment. Job-creator loss occurs when young, would-be entrepreneurs lack opportunities to attempt scalable ventures. To date, efforts to expand such opportunities through microcredit and entrepreneurship training have seen mixed or inconclusive results.2 Our hypothesis is that more robust results depend upon introducing market signals that enable the local ecosystem to identify and champion promising young job creators.

A Roadmap for the Development of Labor Market Information Systems

FHI 360

This study provides a new lens for understanding labor market information systems (LMIS) and offers guidance for the focus and sequencing of investments in their development.

Resource Type: 
Report

In Nicaragua, Caribbean Coast Youth Make History through Technical Education

Creative Associates International

Inside a bustling workshop in one of the nation’s most prestigious vocational education and training centers, aspiring technical students carefully navigate metal pliers to repair a colorful array of yellow, green, black and red wiring on an electrical panel board.

Harnessing the Demographic Dividend Through Investments in Youth

ORGANIZER: 
Wilson Center
DATE: 
May 25, 2017 (10:00am to 12:00pm)

Many countries in Africa boast a high youth population, with approximately 220 million people across the continent between the ages of 15 to 24.

Increasing Employment Opportunities- The Tipping Point: The Youth Bulge and the Sub-Saharan African Labor Market

Brookings Institute
The demographic dividend has been touted as a potential source of growth for the African continent and its relatively young population. In the same vein, it comes with the challenge of employment creation that can absorb the large cohort of youth that is set to enter sub-Saharan
Africa’s labor markets in the approaching decades. Less positively, however, countries that fail to plan accordingly might miss these potential opportunities or the resulting youth bulge could increase the risk of social tension and other risks arising from high youth unemployment rates.

Market Labor and Youth Capacity Assessment

Global Communities Partners for Good

Worldwide, young people are three times more likely than their parents to be out of work. There are two related issues: high levels of youth unemployment and a shortage of people with critical job skills. Lebanon is experiencing these same issues, in its own particular economic context.

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