A Scalable Model for Youth Training: AMI Delivers Marketable Skills While Reducing Costs
The proliferation of evidence of what works for youth employment and workforce development programs, has not been matched by an understanding of the cost-drivers and value for money of similar interventions. Without clear financial models, it’s difficult to develop a business case for employers to absorb some of the associated training costs currently subsidized by donors; this makes creating pathways to scale a challenge. It discourages employers from paying for training, even when it increases productivity and retention and decreases recruitment costs for entry-level employees.
- Identify a high-potential sector for low-skilled, entry-level wage employment;
- Work with employers to develop demand-driven content and utilize technology to adopt a blended learning model, matched with employment and placement opportunities; and
- Analyze and understand cost drivers for the model, and develop a viable business case for employers to pay for parts of the training and reduce the subsidy from donors.
- Managers need training too. AMI trained managers who were responsible for entry-level staff to ensure a quality on-boarding process and offered post-placement support for new employees. New recruits were supported post-placement with additional ‘on-the-job’ courses, as well as a final learning lab to allow discussion and feedback on key challenges, to ensure retention.
- HR departments don’t always have a clear understanding of their own costs. As a result, it’s difficult to benchmark costs or present a comprehensive cost recovery model with real evidence of return on investment for companies. More incentives are required for companies to identify and share these costs to help benchmark training programs and identify appropriate subsidies. This is also beneficial to companies to better understand their own costs related to recruitment, training and retention.
- Placements are costly and demand a unique and dedicated skill-set. Although placement rates were strong, AMI identified additional needs to better connect recruits with employers. For example, dedicated staff are required to better understand the needs of companies upfront, and better navigate the complexities of hiring. This is a unique skill set and job profile that non-profits often lack.
- Starting with cost-recovery changes program design. As workforce development programs layer-in additional content, support and accompaniment, the models become expensive, difficult to replicate and identify the most impactful components. Starting with the premise that employers and participants will cover training costs and donors may also contribute, changes how employers are engaged, content is prioritized, technology is utilized and costs are tracked.