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 in Development: 'We're Tired of Being The Topic, Not The Leaders'

The Guardian

Young people are already spearheading the social entrepreneurial movement across the world. My own first venture, which worked on rural solar/biomass-based electricity generation, was launched when I was 19. I faced some difficulties initially due to being patronised, and working with government officials and even private sector leaders was challenging. There are currently two ways the sector talks about young people – as the beneficiaries of “youth development” or as participants of “youth-led development” but a lot of the time it’s not clear whether as a group we’re being portrayed as the problem or the solution.

BLOG: Youth Paving the Road to 2030, August 2016

The World Bank

Young people are up to 4 times more likely to be unemployed than adults. And, even when they find work, it is more often insecure or in the informal economy where pay is low, conditions variable, and benefits non-existent.  The ILO estimates that nearly a third of youth who are employed are still poor, living below $4 a day. Young women are often at a disadvantage with prospects further marred by educational, social, and institutional constraints: as many as 85% percent of young women in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa regions are working in vulnerable employment.  

BLOG: Statement by the President on International Youth Day, August 2016

The White House

Today, on International Youth Day, we celebrate the potential and power of young people to shape the future of our increasingly interconnected world. With over half of the global population under the age of 30, young generations will find the solutions to some of our toughest global challenges. The United States is committed to providing opportunity for young people to ensure they are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but also change agents today.

REPORT: Australia Youth Development Index Shines a Spotlight on Nation’s Young People, August 2016

The Commonwealth Youth Program

To mark International Youth Day 2016, on 12 August, the first-ever Australian National Youth Development Index report has been launched with support from the Commonwealth Secretariat. The index measures the situation for 6.3 million young people aged 10 to 29 in Australia, and examines changes between 2006 and 2015 across five domains: education, health and well-being, employment, civic participation and political participation.

Resource Type: 
Report

EVENT: Commonwealth Youth Work Week, November 2016

ORGANIZER: 
The Commonwealth Secretariat
DATE: 
Nov 7, 2016 (All day) to Nov 13, 2016 (All day)

The theme for Commonwealth Youth Work Week 2016, held from 7-13 November, is ‘Empowering young people through sport and arts’, acknowledging the creative and innovative techniques that youth workers employ to deliver effective youth empowerment programmes. The Commonwealth Secretariat encourages youth clubs, national youth councils, youth ministries, departments, and national youth organisations, to get involved by hosting an event or activity for Youth Work Week. Contact us to share your plans for Youth Work Week 2016.

BLOG: A Call to Empower Youth, August 2016

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The United Nations is committed to working for and with youth. I appointed the first-ever UN Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, when he was 28 years old. We are working on the ground to ensure every young person has the education, health, employment and rights they deserve. Every year, the UN’s Economic and Social Council Youth Forum brings together senior government officials and young activists to discuss the most pressing global concerns. And the United Nations is partnering more and more with youth-led and youth-focused organizations to promote peace and development around the world. 

FELLOWSHIP: 2017 Future Founders Fellowship, August 2016

Future Founders

The 2017 Fellowship will take place from January – December 2017. As a Fellow, you’ll be a part of an exclusive community of up-and-coming innovators and changemakers representing diverse backgrounds, industries and schools from across the country.  Applicants should be a founding member who is a decision maker of a startup. Whether you are currently running a business or developing your idea, all startup stages are eligible. We are looking for the best of the best!

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