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.     

Head in the Clouds: Using a Cloud-Based Digital Platform to Assess Value Chains

Plan International, DAI

Please join us for an interactive session in which we will share a current digital solution we’re employing in El Salvador to support young people start their own businesses, as part of USAID Bridges to Employment. The value chain assessment tool helps implementers and young people identify market opportunities in their communities. This tool is easily adaptable to other contexts and offers a scalable mechanism to support youth transitioning to the working world. It is our hope that globally, the tool will soon leverage open-sourced and crowd-sourced data.

Youth Voices for Positive Change: An Evidence Based Approach to Developing the Sudanese Youth National Policy

Youth Forum

This session represents the research findings by the Youth Forum Organization to the government for drawing up Sudan’s first National Youth Policy. It is a journey we will take to formulate a new and innovative approach to creating a Sudanese national policy for youth. The aim here is to bring to light the most prominent challenges faced by our youth, and also their aspirations for a policy that will accurately represent them and meet their needs.

The Intersection of Tourism and Youth Development: Innovating the Future of Work for Youth in Jordan

Chemonics International, InterContinental Hotels Group

The future of work for youth in developing countries across the world is contextual and multi-faceted.  In Jordan, there continue to be a wealth of opportunity for youth people to engage in the growing tourism market, demonstrative of incredible work to engage youth where they are in the development of innovative solutions through private-sector partnerships with both local and international organizations.

Advancing Youth-Inclusive Market Systems

International Youth Foundation

This post is the first in a series examining youth-inclusive market systems (YIMS), which is IYF’s newest approach to improving youth economic opportunity.

Case studies on youth employment in fragile situations

UNDP

Under the aegis of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, this joint report by ILO, UNDP and UNHCR presents examples of good practices from around the world, showcasing innovative approaches to youth employment that help to build peace and resilience in fragile and conflict affected situations.

New Project to Tackle Youth Unemployment in Tunisia will Focus on Job Seekers and Job Creators

World Bank

New US$60 million World Bank project to link marginalized youth with opportunities, while promoting entrepreneurs and businesses as engines of job creation

Supporting the Early Childhood Workforce at Scale: The Cuna Mas Home Visiting Program in Peru

Results for Development

Early Childhood Development (ECD) policies and programs targeting young children and families, such as home visiting interventions, can positively impact a child’s development and lead to long-term health, education, and social benefits. These programs employ numerous professionals, paraprofessionals, and volunteers.  It is essential for this early childhood workforce to be highly prepared and well-supported to ensure that young children have a strong foundation for healthy development and future success.

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