Chapter 1: Workforce Development

Introduction

RTI International. December 19, 2013

2013 was another big year for the youth workforce development field (WfD), which remains at center-stage in the global employment (jobs) crisis. Building on the previous three years of a dedicated youth workforce development track, Making Cents International’s 2013 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference (“2013 Conference”) highlighted (several) core issues of interest to practitioners in the field.

This chapter presents key lessons learned in the workforce development field revealed through the WfD track of the 2013 Conference, but also drawing upon relevant findings from the 2012 and 2011 Conferences, which provide the first with a snap shot of current practice and understanding.  The chapter is organized into four sections that focus on lessons-learned, and one section which identifies key issues and topics the field should address going forward.  The four areas of lessons learned are: (1) stakeholder engagement strategies, centered on private sector engagement and youth leadership; (2) program content focused on soft skills, hard skills, and international higher education partnerships; (3) implementation issues related to the use of technology for reaching scale and conducting monitoring and evaluation; and (4) implementation concerns pertaining to working with special populations, such as girls and young women, conflict-impacted populations, and disabled youth.