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 September 19

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.

Cracking the Nut 2015: Expanding Rural & Agricultural Markets Amid Climate Change

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
AZMJ
Event Date: 
Mar 2, 2015 (All day) to Mar 3, 2015 (All day)

The two-day learning event will focus on innovations in the development of rural and agricultural markets amid global climate change. The conference will convene a melting pot of top industry leaders from financial institutions, donors, investors, private sector companies and development organizations. This year, the conference will explore the issue of climate change through three key learning tracks:

1. Strengthening Rural & Agricultural Infrastructure;

2. Expanding Financial Services to Rural Areas; and

Value Chain Program Design Training

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
Action for Enterprise (AFE)
Event Date: 
Sep 15, 2014 (All day) to Sep 19, 2014 (All day)

Action for Enterprise (AFE) is offering a series of three to five-day workshops that present the latest methodologies and practice for designing value-chain programs that incorporate strategies for sustainable impact. Participants will learn how to design programs that result in market-based solutions to MSME constraints such as market access, input supply, technology/product development, management training, policy reform, and access to finance.

Minimum Economic Recovery Standards Training Session - Washington DC

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
SEEP
Event Date: 
Oct 6, 2014 (All day) to Oct 9, 2014 (All day)

The Minimum Economic Recovery Standards (MERS) articulate the minimum level of technical and other assistance to be provided in promoting the recovery of economies and livelihoods affected by crisis. The MERS cover six technical areas:

World Bank Group’s Benchmarking the Business of Agriculture: Project Scope & Data Coverage, Early Results and Next Steps

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
The World Bank, SEEP
Event Date: 
Sep 25, 2014 (08:30am to 11:00am)

Sep 25, 2014 (Thu), 8:30am-11:00am (US EDT) (Breakfast included)

-By invitation only-

The session is designed for experienced practitioners in agricultural development. For an invitation to this event please fill out the expression of interest form.

PIND 2014 Youth Link Forum: Linking Youth to Employability Skills and Entrepreneurship Development Opportunities in the Niger Delta

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
PIND
Event Date: 
Oct 14, 2014 (All day) to Oct 15, 2014 (All day)

The Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) is hosting its first Youth Link Forum with the theme “Linking Youth to Employability skills and Entrepreneurship Development Opportunities in the Niger Delta” on 14-15 October, 2014, at the Aldgate Congress Hotel, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to discuss and contribute to resolving the most pressing economic and social problems that limit youth potential.

Collaborating to Solve Youth Employment

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
Ashoka, MasterCard Foundation
Event Date: 
Sep 17, 2014 (10:00am to 11:00am)

Sub-Saharan Africa faces a paradox that has global relevance and implications: it will be home to the largest youth population in the world by 2050 and although literacy rates (by 6%) and education enrollment rates (by 9%) have been on the rise, youth unemployment continues to hover above 60% across the region. How will African youth create or secure sustainable and meaningful livelihoods? And more specifically, who is responsible for youth employment in Africa?

Can MOOCs Deliver on Workforce Development?

Do MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have the potential to expand access to quality education and workforce development training for millions worldwide?

First Global Forum on Youth Policies

Event host(s)/organization(s): 
Ministry of Youth and Sports in Azerbaijan, UN Secretary General's Envoy on Youth, UNDP, UNESCO, Council of Europe
Event Date: 
Oct 28, 2014 (All day) to Oct 30, 2014 (All day)

In 2014, of 198 countries, 122 countries (62%) have a national youth policy, up from 99 (50%) in the previous year. These numbers show that governments are increasingly aware of the need for legal and policy frameworks that respond adequately to young peoples’ needs, aspirations and demands. Despite these advances, however, a number of challenges affect both the efficiency and inclusiveness of youth policies, from fragmented responsibilities and challenged structures to the lack of reliable knowledge and the absence of appropriate resources.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Workforce Development