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.     

Improving Work-Readiness and School-to-Work Transitions for Senegalese Youth

MasterCard Foundation
Youth is Africa’s greatest asset, asserts Jobs for Youth in Africa, a 2016 report by the African Development Bank. Yet with 11 million youth entering the African workforce every year, the continent’s youth remain on the margins of the formal economy, most working in temporary, often vulnerable jobs, many of them either under or unemployed.
 

Education Systems Are Failing Our Kids, so How Can We Prepare Them for the Jobs of the Future?

World Economic Forum
The world’s education systems are failing our children by not preparing them for the workplace of the future. This is the key finding of a new report by the World Economic Forum, Realizing Human Potential in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which puts forward a series of practical measures for aligning education and training with future job requirements.
 

Realizing Human Potential in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: An Agenda for Leaders to Shape the Future of Education, Gender and Work

World Economic Forum
Three key interconnected features affect how talent is developed and deployed in the world—today and in the future, across the life cycle of an individual and, in the aggregate, entire populations.
 

The Skills that Matter in the Race Between Education and Technology

World Bank

The threat of automation implies a race between education and technology. In most developing countries, education systems are not providing workers with the skills necessary to compete in today’s job markets. The growing mismatch between the demand and supply of skills holds back economic growth and undermines opportunity. At the same time, the returns to schooling are high in most developing countries, and growing skill premiums are evident in much of the world.

UNLEASH Innovation Lab 2017 is open for applications

UNLEASH

Are you the next SDG Talent?

UNLEASH Innovation Lab 2017 is open for applications – and you are invited!

To find smarter, faster, and cheaper ways to reach the Sustainable Development Goals we need next generation solutions from bold thinkers and leaders. UNLEASH will bring 1,000 hand-picked talents from around the world together to ideate and collaborate on new solutions in Denmark from August 13th-21st, 2017.

New Profile Series on Youth Education and Employment

FHI 360

Youth Education and Employment Profiles, produced by FHI 360's Education Policy and Data Center, present education and employment characteristics of youth across countries. Data are drawn from School to Work Transition Surveys (SWTS), which were carried out in 32 countries between 2013 and 2015. Funded by the Mastercard Foundation and supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO), they paint a comprehensive picture of youth employment, educational attainment, and schooling across countries.

The Syrian Refugee Crisis in Lebanon: Empowering Youth to Serve as Agents of Change

The World Bank

There was silence in the room. No one seemed to want to speak up. I asked again: “what are the most important challenges that you face every day?” Suba, a young woman in her early 20s living in Tripoli, one of the regions with the highest poverty levels and concentration of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, finally raised her hand and said: “We are unemployed and have no access to basic services. We are sympathetic to the Syrian refugee cause. However, they are taking our jobs.

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