The Impact of Youth Skills Training on the Financial Behavior, Employability and Educational Choice in Morocco

Author(s): 
Jonas Bausch, Paul Dyer, Drew Gardiner, Jochen Kluve, Elena Mizrokh
Organization/Affiliation(s): 
International Initiative for Impact Evaluation
Publication Date: 
Jan, 2017

In the context of global concerns about the economic exclusion of youth, efforts to facilitate youth access to decent jobs and financial services have become a development priority. This is particularly the case in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where continued growth of the youth population has exacerbated pressures on education systems and labor markets. This has contributed to poor labor market outcomes for young people, increasingly characterized by high unemployment, underemployment and informality. In MENA, nearly 85 per cent of youth are also unbanked; this inadequate access to financial services hampers their ability to prepare for their economic futures.

Aiming to increase the financial inclusion of young people and improve their employability, youth-serving development organisations are increasingly focused on providing interventions centered on skills development training. But despite the proliferation of such training interventions, there is limited evidence of their effectiveness. This impact evaluation report – a collaboration between the ILO’s Taqeem Initiative and MEDA, funded by 3ie – contributes to the growing base of evidence on what works in youth employment and financial inclusion.
 
Program description and research questions
 
The report evaluates a skills training intervention – ‘100 Hours to Success’ – that targeted youth aged 15 to 25 in Morocco’s Oriental region. It consisted of 3 main modules, delivered as 1 training course over 100 hours:
 
  • Financial education: Practical tools to manage personal finances, including how to use personal budgeting and the importance and relevance of savings and debt management;
  • Life skills: Improving personal competencies and conflict management; these units relied heavily on role play and group work; and
  • Business and entrepreneurial skills: How to assess one’s business development abilities, market products and write a business plan.
This study seeks to assess the impact of ‘100 Hours to Success’ on a range of outcomes related to financial inclusion, employability and human capital acquisition. The main research questions included:
 
  • Do training participants demonstrate greater financial knowledge and heightened awareness of banking institutions and their services?
  • To what extent has training changed beneficiaries’ perception of their own capacities in a broad array of life skills, such as confidence, teamwork and problem solving?
  • Has the intervention influenced educational choices?
  • Has it placed participants in a better position to enter the labor force?
  • Has it increased their chances of securing employment or starting new businesses as youth entrepreneurs?
  • Do impacts differ between women and men, younger and older participants and individuals from more and less affluent households? If yes, how?

Read the full report here.

Topic: 
Workforce Development
Financial Inclusion
Enterprise Development
Regions: 
Middle East & North Africa
Tags: 
Education
Entrepreneurship
Unemployment
Vocational Education