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.     

The Private Sector and Youth Skills and Employment Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Solutions for Youth Employment (SY4E) & RAND

Getting youth into productive employment is an urgent policy issue for countries around the world. A successful transition to the labor force is essential for young people to be assured of success in life, but many young people encounter significant obstacles to this transition. Youth are three times more likely than adults to be unemployed; worldwide, almost 73 million youth are looking for work. In the wake of the financial crisis at the end of the last decade, the share of youth neither participating in the labor force nor enrolled in school has been increasing.

BLOG: Where are they now? The importance of alumni tracking in workforce training

RTI International
In a riff off of the old PSA that asked parents, “Its 10:00 pm, do you know where your children are?” –– we might ask educators, “It’s been a year, do you know where your alumni are?”
 

BLOG: Why is Demand-Driven Training Like a Long-Term Marriage?

Devex
Answer: It requires continuous investment with your partner.
 
By demand-driven training, I mean those skills development initiatives that are customized to respond directly to specific requirements of a job role for an employer or a group of employers and place trainees into a job.
 

Can Arts-Based Interventions Enhance Labor Market Outcomes among Youth? Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Rio de Janeiro

RUHR Economic Papers

This paper provides findings of a small-scale, innovative labor training program that uses expressive arts and theatre as a pedagogical tool. The corresponding life skills training component is combined with a technical component teaching vocational skills. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of a training program constructed around expressive arts.

Resource Type: 
Paper

PROJECT: Nicaragua Technical Vocational Education and Training Strengthening for At-Risk Youth

Creative Associates International
Brief Background
 
Nicaraguan youth complete an average of six years of schooling. Along the Caribbean coast, youth average less than three years of schooling. This not only results in a youth population with low levels of productivity and high unemployment rates, but also constrains economic development.
 

TWITTER CHAT: Youth Employability and Skills Gap

ORGANIZER: 
PYXERA Global
DATE: 
Feb 22, 2017 (11:00am to 12:00pm)

This Twitter Chat on youth employability and the skills gap is a featured event in the lead-up to PYXERA Global’s convening, the Global Engagement Forum Live, and will invite a dynamic dialogue between the public, private, and social sectors on this important issue.

Featured panelists include:

Labour Market transitions of Young Women and Men in the Middle East and North Africa

International Labour Office and The MasterCard Foundation

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is in the grip of an unemployment crisis that is mainly affecting its countries’ youth populations. The region’s unemployment rates among the youth cohort are twice as high as the global average and are particularly high among those with tertiary education. High unemployment rates are accompanied by increased shares of inactivity among youth, with too many youth withdrawing from the labour market due to family responsibilities or discouragement with their labour market prospects.

Resource Type: 
Report

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