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.

 

OP-ED: Why Is Technology Skills Training Critical to Low-Income Youth Now?

Originally posted on Devex.com, September 22, 2014.

BLOG: Cities as Drivers of Economic Opportunity for Youth

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

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.     

Employability Skills Measurement Consultancy

Save the Children's Skills to Succeed program seeks a psychometric expert to help improve current method to assess employability skills acquisition among adolescents and youth in our target countries. See attached file for TORs. 

Kenya, U.S. Can Help Youth Get Jobs

Originally posted by The Rockefeller Foundation on July 25, 2015

When the African youth population doubles to 400 million, there will be more young people entering the workforce than there are jobs waiting for them.

In Kenya, up to 80% of their 2.5 million youth are unemployed, while youth unemployment in the U.S. is three times the jobless rate.

#YouthEO Twitter Chat: Scale in Practice

There are over 1.1 billion young people in the world who need to be able to find good jobs, start and grow businesses, gain access to appropriate financial services and overall, participate in the global economy.But how can development practitioners and private and public sector actors meet the growing demand for youth economic opportunity? 

Competition: TVET for the 21st Century in Africa | The Most Promising Practices on the African Continent

Do you work with a technical vocational education and training (TVET) program in Africa that is delivering skills for the 21st century?

Do you work with a TVET program in Africa whose students are finding jobs and becoming successful entrepreneurs?

Do you work with a TVET program in Africa that is demand-driven and employer-led?

Competition is open from August 1 – 31, 2015
Go To www.wfconnections.org

Workforce Development Programming: Economic Strengthening and Adolescent Girls

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
SEEP Network
Event Date: 
Aug 5, 2015 (09:30am to 11:00am)

Welcome to a new series of webinars focusing on economic strengthening programming designed to reach and engage adolescent youth in economic and financial activity, with a special focus on girls. 

Global Competence Amongst Youth is Critical to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

To succeed in today’s global workforce, youth must have a wide variety of competencies, some of which are dependent on their career path.  In addition to functional job skills, which vary from position to position, there are, however, common competencies that all young people need to develop regardless of thei

July E-Bulletin: Smart Investments to Expand Youth Economic Opportunity

Making Cents International offers this newsletter for the donors, policy makers, corporations, researchers, implementers and youth leaders increasing the scale, sustainability and effectiveness of youth economic inclusion programming. 

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