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.
CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development
Jul 29, 2014 (05:00pm to 06:30pm)
In June 2014, 500 young African leaders demonstrating exemplary entrepreneurial and civic leadership arrived in Washington D.C. to participate in the first ever Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Washington Fellowship, a six-week academic and training program that seeks to prepare the next generation of African leaders for the 21st century, which will culminate with a three-day Presidential Summit for Washington Fellows on July 28.
By Emily Alpert from The Guardian, Jul 18, 2014
When we talk about African development, there is a belief that its booming population can only equal crisis. By 2040, Africa's workforce could be one billion strong, so finding jobs for this young population should be at the forefront of government agenda. This challenge is coupled with Africa's increasing demand for varied and nutritious foods.
By Ewa Korczyc, Matija Laco, and Theo Thomas (team lead), with inputs from: Sanja Madzarevic-Sujster, Suzana Petrovic, Stella Ilieva, Catalin Pauna, Paulina Hołda, Emilia Skrok, Christian Bodewig and Indhira Santos. from The World Bank, Jul 23, 2014 02:56pm
This Regular Economic Report (RER) is a semiannual publication of the Europe and Central Asia Region, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Department (ECA PREM), The World Bank. It covers economic developments, prospects, and policies in 11 European Union (EU) member states that joined after 2004 (excluding Cyprus and Malta) — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (North); the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and the Slovak Republic, (Continental); and Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia (South). Throughout the RER, for simplicity, we refer to this group of eleven countries as the EU11.
Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE)
Aug 8, 2014 (All day) to Aug 13, 2014 (All day)
The 2014 SAGE World Cup will be taking place in Moscow, Russia from August 8-13.
Ndaba Mandela, grandson of the late Nelson Mandela, will attend the SAGE World Cup 2014 in Moscow Russia on August 8-12. He will serve as the keynote speaker at the Awards Ceremony on August 11. Currently, a total of 16 country delegations will travel to Moscow to determine who will be this year's SAGE champion. At least three more countries will be attending as observers.
Jul 25, 2014 (08:30am to 10:30am)
In August, the Department for International Development (DFID) will publish a new evidence paper exploring the relationship between education technology, teaching and learning in low and lower-middle income countries. Based on a review of over 80 studies, this paper aims to inform governments, NGOs, donors, the private sector and schools about how to use technology in schools by learning from the evidence.
By Matt Flannery from Kiva, 2009
This essay is a sequel to the case titled “Kiva and the Birth of Person-to-Person Microfinance,” published by the author in Innovations (Winter/Spring 2007). Started by the author, Jessica Jackley Flannery and Moses Onyango in 2005, Kiva is an online lending platform that allows individuals in the developed world to loan to small businesspeople in the developing world. Kiva operates in the microfinance space and works with a growing network of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in more than 40 countries.
By Matt Flannery from Kiva, Jun 12, 2007
Matt Flannery started Kiva in 2005 with his wife, Jessica. Kiva is an online lending platform that allows individuals in the developed world to loan to small business people in the developing world. Kiva operates in the microfinance space and works with a growing network of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in more than thirty countries. Their MFI partners post the profiles of their loan applicants to the website. Internet users in the United States, Canada, Europe, and beyond make small loans via PayPal to these businesses. The businesses pay the lenders back over a period of about a year.
By Tighisti Amare from The Guardian, Jul 11, 2014
By Isabella Troconis from Young Americas Business Trust, Jul 17, 2014 02:09pm
Back in the 90’s, a vast majority of parents and guardians in Latin America would look down on their children if they decided to opt to become an entrepreneur instead of pursuing a career or enrolling in a University. They would think that their children had a lack of motivation for studying or they were simply not smart enough or too lazy to complete a degree.