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: Youth’s Passion and Ingenuity Bring Inspiration and Hope for the Future, May 2016

The World Bank

The five winners of the 2016 Blog4Dev highlighted inequality as one of the key issues impacting young people in Africa. Young people who have access to opportunities can afford better education but interestingly face strong pressure on who they should become - a doctor, an engineer -- professions that make their parents happy.  The less fortunate have to move from rural areas and cities in search for stability. They sometimes face harsh conditions, often working on low quality jobs, saving to send money to their families back home.  

BLOG: Creating Opportunities for Palestinian Adolescents, May 2016

UN Volunteer

“Adolescents can be powerful agents of change in communities,” says Chizuru Iwata, an international UN Volunteer from Japan, who worked with UNICEF as a UNV Adolescent Participation Officer in the State of Palestine. A 51-day Israeli military operation in July and August 2014, according to United Nations reports, left several thousand people dead, and over 10,000 injured. It destroyed and damaged homes, leaving tens of thousands homeless. “Working in UNICEF’s Adolescent Development and Participation section, I supported implementation, monitoring and a variety of the section’s activities that were building the capacities of national partners" says Chizuru.

HANDBOOK: National Youth Delegate Programme to the United Nations, May 2016

United Nations

Active youth participation at the United Nations is a critical contribution to successful international cooperation. The purpose of this handbook is to provide interested young people around the world with the information they need to approach their governments with the request to include youth voices in their national delegations to the United Nations. Being a part of the UNA movement provides opportunities for engagement with United Nations issues in your home countries and internationally. If you do not have a UNA in your country, we hope you will reach out to us and explore the possibility of establishing one

Resource Type: 
E-Resource

BLOG: Helping Youth in Bangladesh STEP up to Better Jobs, May 2016

The World Bank

Creating more and better jobs is crucial to Bangladesh’s economic development as 2.1 million youths enter the job market every year. Both the local and global economies are shifting toward industry and services and demand for skilled manpower is on the rise. Therefore, the government of Bangladesh has made workforce development a priority through technical and vocational education training. The Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP) help youths gain relevant skills to compete on the global job market. To that end, STEP supports public and private training institutions and provides modern equipment, teaching aids and learning materials to improve the quality of technical and vocation training in Bangladesh. 

BLOG: The Power of Networking Among Youths, May 2016

Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD)

Attracting around 70 participants from all over the world (15 countries) and key organisations working on youth in agriculture, the seminar raised many opportunities and challenges faced by youth in both “developed” and “developing” countries. Its main aim was to create a networking opportunity for those passionate about the topic of youth in agriculture to get inspired and exchange ideas. As we had strong links to the YPARD network, we could fly in José Carlos Martinez Hernandez from Reforestamos Mexico on very short notice to give a keynote speech at the seminar. 

BLOG: How do you Unlock the Immense Potential of Youth? April 2016

United Nation Development Program

Our latest Regional Human Development Report explores how countries can take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to build a better future for youth, boost economic success, and power human development. This region is home to about 670 million youth. But about 220 million of them -- of which disproportionately large shares are female -- are missing. They are neither studying nor working, and youth unemployment rates are on the rise. Nearly 300 million youth are underemployed in low-end or dead-end jobs. Trapped in low productivity and low paid jobs, they hover on the border of poverty.

BLOG: Underlying Determinants: The Starting Point on the Path to Youth Employment, May 2016

The World Bank

As a multi-stakeholder coalition, the Solution for Youth Employment (S4YE)’s mission is to mobilize efforts to significantly increase the number of these young people who will be engaged in productive work by 2030. As part of our strategy, we have developed a conceptual pathway to employment that shows how all stakeholders can work together to achieve youth employment at scale.  In our theory of change, there are a variety of actions that, when taken by both governments and the private sector collectively, can lead to a better chance of success for young people entering the job market. 

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