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.     

World Youth Summit 2015 in India

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
Club25 International Manipur and IYC
Event Date: 
Mar 29, 2015 (All day) to Apr 2, 2015 (All day)

WYS 2015's Cross-cutting theme is 'Youth for Global Empowerment'.

Talent Cloud Request for Applications (RFA)

Closing Date:

Apr 12, 2015

Workforce Connections (WC) is establishing a professional development program called the Talent Cloud. The Talent Cloud is an initiative that targets professionals working in development, specifically on the global youth employment problem. The objective of the platform is to equip workforce development professionals with technical and field knowledge, opportunities to collaborate with like-minded peers, and provide access to experts and resources.

The Nightmare of Youth Unemployment and How to Fight It

Originally posted on the Huffington Post on March 3, 2015

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes celebrates inspiring, public-spirited, highly diverse young people from all across America. Each year, the Barron Prize honors twenty-five outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and our environment.

Youth economic development programs: A formula for success

Originally published by Devex on March 16, 2015. 

Adobe Youth Voice Awards

The Adobe Youth Voices Awards is a global, online competition that encourages youth to creatively express their vision for driving positive change in local communities. It’s an extension of Adobe Foundation’s philanthropic commitment and its global signature program, Adobe Youth Voices, which aims to ignite creative confidence in youth around the world by empowering them to find their voice and make it heard.

Key Dates

YSEALI Generation: Power of Entrepreneurship

YSEALI Generation: Power of Entrepreneurship is a 5-day entrepreneurship regional exchange workshop for early-stage entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs (an inside entrepreneur, or an entrepreneur within an existing organization, who uses entrepreneurial skills to turn a new idea or project into a profitable venture for the company) from ASEAN between the ages of 18-30.

During the YSEALI Regional Exchange, participants can expect to:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Workforce Development