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.     

New Directions: Creating Pathways for and with Opportunity Youth

Opportunity Youth Collaborative

On Wednesday, November 7, 2018, the Boston PIC and the Boston Opportunity Agenda brought together 200 institution leaders and community partners for the release of New Directions: Creating Career Pathways for and with Opportunity Youth. This report chronicles the Opportunity Youth Collaborative’s activities and lessons learned over its six-year effort to engage opportunity youth in career pathways.

Resource Type: 
Report

Measuring Entrepreneurial Mindset in Youth

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)

Increasingly, the global economy demands that young people enter the workforce not only with a college degree, but also with a set of transferrable, entrepreneurial skills and attitudes that can help them succeed in almost any job or industry. This includes the ability to take initiative and think on your feet, to critically solve problems, and to communicate effectively. Learning these and other skills that are part of the entrepreneurial mindset is central to becoming career-ready.

Resource Type: 
Case Study

Conversation: Advocating for Women and Youth for a More Sustainable Food System, Seattle University at the 2018 Food Tank Summit

FoodTank

Discussion held at the 2018 Seattle Food Tank Sumit on MArch 17, in partnershi[ with Seattle Universty, Food Action, Grub, the Environmental Working Group, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Resource Type: 
Video/Audio

Youth Enterprise: The Role of Gender and Life Stage in Motivations, Aspirations and Measures of Success

Journal of Education and Work

‘Enterprise’ has increasingly become part of the United Kingdom’s political grammar and efforts to develop entrepreneurial traits and activities in young people have been a key strand of this policy focus. As the 2008 economic recession saw a curtailed youth labour market, enterprise emerged as an appealing policy ‘solution’ to youth unemployment. Traditional measures of enterprise chart the numbers of new businesses and their survival rates.

Resource Type: 
Paper

3 Keys to Fostering Youth Skills Development in Tanzania

International Youth Foundation

On August 12, I had the opportunity to march through the streets of Arusha, Tanzania, with over 300 young women and men as p

Resource Type: 
Article

Addressing Social Capital for Disadvantaged Youth: Youth and Teacher Perceptions of a Youth Development Program in Hong Kong

Cogent Social Sciences

In this qualitative case study, the perceived impacts of workshops and internships provided by a Hong Kong-based non-governmental organization (NGO) working to improve the lives of disadvantaged youth were explored and descriptively presented. Data were derived from a combination of individual youth and teacher interviews, coupled with a youth focus group. Themes within the findings were developed by exploring individual perceptions of the influence that participation in workshops and internships had on reducing social barriers and addressing social issues for the youth.

Resource Type: 
Paper

Cultural Diversity and Economic Growth in Africa

The New Times
In an era of globalisation and liberalisation of goods and services, there has been surge inflows of the population in the form of temporary and permanent migration all over the world. Due to immigration there has been increase in cultural assimilation and cultural diffusion leading to cultural diversity among nations receiving them.
 
Resource Type: 
Article

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