What can business do to help young people acquire the right skills to transition into good jobs?


(Tahsinah Ahmed) #61

Following successful pilots through the Skills Training for Advancing Resources (STAR) project, BRAC launched the Skills Development Programme (SDP) in 2015. The program focuses on (1) skills training, (2) job linkages, (3) entrepreneurship and market development, and (4) skills sector development. The programme serves youth and adults and has a special focus on labor migrants and disadvantaged (minorities, transgenders etc.) groups of which 50% are women and 10% are people with disabilities. The programme envisages to provide competency based training to 500,000 youth and adults within 2020 and ensure jobs for at least 80% of the graduates. SDP is supporting the government to

  • implement the National Technical Vocational Qualification Framework (NTVQF)
  • promote Competency Based Training and Assessment (CBT&A)
  • broaden provision by providing apprenticeships and institution based dual training in both formal and informal economies / sectors
  • increase outreach by serving rural (70%) and urban (30%) areas
  • exhilarate female participation (50% are females in SDP interventions)
  • enhance access of People with Disabilities /PWDs (10% trainees in SDP are PWDs) and other disadvantaged groups (Social Inclusion is a cross cutting theme in SDP)
  • transform youth and adults into skilled human resources
  • intensify the role of private sector and of Small and Medium Enterprises in local economic development
  • generation of data in regard to demand identification
  • domestic and overseas employment (SDP targets at least 80% employment of its graduates)
  • create Decent Work provisions (Decent Work is a cross cutting theme in SDP)
  • strengthen the professional capacity of the sector (there are huge gaps of CBT&A experts)
  • policy advocacy, dialogue and reforms (SDP is active in national forums e.g. on skills development, disability, gender etc.)

The major focus of STAR has been the informal sector with the aim to reach out to disadvantaged youth who are don’t have access to formal training and only have access to low level jobs. The STAR project is an on-the-job apprenticeship model for school drop outs, which supports entrepreneurship and enterprise development and provides the option to dropouts to resume their education. The project places apprentices in pairs under the guidance of master crafts people who already run their own businesses and are also trained by the project on competency based training techniques and supported to set up conducive work environment. Innovating and scaling up the traditional apprenticeship practices of South Asia, they spend six months learning practical technical on the job and entrepreneurship skills from the master crafts persons. They also receive trade specific theoretical and soft skills training once a week. After training completion, the project links them to jobs.

In case of STAR, employers and business associations are providing information to identify which occupations are in high demand. The training curriculum and teaching learning material are developed with guidance from employers. They contribute by providing the training space (their workshops), the equipment (in their shops) and the technical support for training in line with the NTVQF. Employers assist in assessment and also provide the job linkages.

The trades are chosen based on current and predicted future market demands and now include Thai Aluminum Fabrication, Basic Electronics, Beauty Care, Graphic Design, Hardware Technician/ IT Support, Mobile Phone Servicing, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Tailoring & Dress Making and Carpentry. Many of these trades are attractive to expectant migrants.

About 15,000 young people have been trained within 2012 – 2015 through the STAR project of SDP. Approximately 99% of the graduates have been employed within a month of their training completion with about 100% increase in their income level. Studies show that this has contributed to their socio economic empowerment with significant impact on self-confidence e.g. regarding personal decision-making, their household role; and in many cases, decreasing the risks of early marriage for girls.

The project has a tech based monitoring system which ensures knowledge management and enables continuous learning. Feedback of employers, learners, graduates and customers are used for monthly discussions of field staff which are then fed into annual design workshops.


(Kelly Trakalo) #62


Hi Karen - at Pearson we are actively looking at evidence-based learning design around how to teach soft skills and how to incorporate it effectively into learning. I think it will take industry coming together with education so that we can effectively research and gather evidence of how skills learned transfer into the workplace.
Karen Moore said:

Hi all, I'm Karen Moore, a Program Manager, Youth Livelihoods, with The MasterCard Foundation.
From our experience with our partners CAP-YEI and many others, we concur that transferable or soft skills are crucial - but we still need more robust evidence to demonstrate how best to deliver them effectively and equitably, and to demonstrate and possibly certify the effects ofsoft skill training on disadvantaged youth's knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and capacity to find and keep a decent job or start a sustainable microbusiness.

(http://www.mastercardfdn.org/building-an-evidence-base-for-the-soft...)

And, to reinforce our ThinkTank member Augustine's point, we know that young people often combine learning and earning, both concurrently and over time. Private sector organisations that are able to facilitate earn while you learn apprenticeship or attachment opportunities will help support youth-inclusive growth while developing a skilled and loyal workforce. (see http://www.gan-global.org/)


(Ndungu Kahihu) #63

Companies need to work through a range of stakeholders, including young people themselves. Of course the key change is ensuring industry input is recognised and appreciated as a critical part of skills training.This means working with governments, skills providers, parents, unions etc.

There are a number of successful models for doing this; some industry led, Like Harambee in South Africa, others like BEST (CAP YEI) or Akazi Kanoze in Rwanda bring together a multiplicity of stakeholders but with Business playing an indispensable role.


Augustine Malija said:

Companies can do two things, invest in long-term skill development to youth and support their interesting activities either financially or in kind.

By long-term skill development I mean offer internships, apprenticeship and job specific training. Internships and apprenticeships are working out well in offering good jobs and providing sustainable skills. East African youth who intern with companies long-term get a chance to showcase their skills and hard work. Most of the times these youths are employed by the same organizations or easily get jobs within other organizations. It also provides skills useful for youth to run their own businesses. One of the respondents from the Youth Think Tank research interned with a software company for six months which gave him professional skills. He utilized these skills together with his friend to start up a software company that grew to give birth to another company.

Long term job specific training give space for young people to take meaningful roles in organizations. It helps them get managerial positions that are representative. This accelerates youth inclusiveness in decision making.

Supporting youth initiatives either in kind or financially contributes in developing their skill set. Youth can be having an interesting project to run but need in kind or financial support. With AIESEC, my team and I were fundraising to buy needed items for an orphanage in Dar es Salaam. So, we sent in letters to malls asking for a space to put a stall and raise funds. Out of five malls only one, Mlimani City, gave us a permission, the rest denied our requests during follow ups. This was the second time I experienced this.

This example communicates a powerful message. Had the rest malls accept our offer, more AIESEC members would gain marketing and communication skills. Standing on the stall meant selling the general idea to a person in a minute or two for them to support. In the end, only a few had this chance.



Hester le Roux said:

Thank you everyone for all your contributions – much food for thought here.
In the interest of time, let’s move on to our second question:

Q2: How can companies help young people to get ready for the world of work and to find good jobs? Who should they work with? Can you share examples of successful business-led programmes or innovative cross-sectoral / multi-stakeholder partnerships that help more young people acquire the right skills to find and keep decent work?


(Richard Sandall) #64


On apprenticeships: I think, clearly, a terrific opportunity to learn skills, whether soft and hard, and to generate networks and experience. One issue can be cost - it can be one of the most expensive ways to reach large numbers through donor programming if you end up paying the company to take on apprenticeships for long periods. So retreating to the facilitation/matching/infomation role may be a good idea to make things more sustainable
Ndungu Kahihu said:



Lewis Temple said:

I would be intrigued by the thoughts of the panel on the role of apprenticeships in providing a pathway to employment, either in place of or together with - formal skills training?

This is very important. We have trained 14000 youth in Kenya and achieved a job placement rate exceeding 70%. One of the key reasons for this success is the great investment we make in ensuring trainees receive direct exposure to the work before during and after training. We do this by organising sessions that are conducted by industry partners - including mock interviews -, mentorship, simulating conditions at work and a mandatory internship program of at least four weeks before graduation


(Hester le Roux) #65

Ndung'u that's an amazing placement rate. What are you doing to convince companies that it's worth their while working with you and investing in these intitiatives? What are the main components of the business case for them?


(James Sutton) #66

James Sutton from Raleigh International here.

In terms of the role for business I think that businesses can support either through training and capacity-building themselves (or in partnership with other agents), or they can help fund such programmes. The creative part of this is about which entities are partnering and what strengths they are bringing to the table.

Let me give you two examples of partners we work with. We have donors such as BNP Paribas (Suisse) and the Texel Foundation who support disadvantaged youth to take part in Raleigh programmes in Nepal, Costa Rica, Tanzania, Borneo and Nicaragua. Raleigh delivers strong employability outcomes. Based on research conducted on our 2012 cohort of harder-to-reach youth participants: 100% were NEET pre-Expedition, and then 84% were in education, employment or training 9 months after completing expedition (Source: Raleigh Youth Partnerships Report, 2012). So this funding of volunteers then developed employability in these young people so that they also became beneficiaries. They fund local youth so that they can take part in Raleigh because they understand and believe in the value of the experience in that it builds capacity and also their soft skills which will give them a competitive edge in the jobs market.

We also partner with Google – this is not about funding, this is about skills and expertise. They help us deliver part of our Youth Entrepreneurship programming in Tanzania and Nicaragua. This skills-based volunteering adds value by training and then mentoring youth entrepreneurs to start their own micro-enterprises. This is a self-employment model but it recognises the fact that opportunities for youth can also become opportunities for the communities that they live in.


(Debbie Phillips) #67

Here are some examples of employability programmes that we run

In the UK, LifeSkills, created with Barclays, provides practical support to young people who are preparing to leave education and enter the work place, through 55 hours of freely available online and in the class room accredited resources. Topics include: the online CV builder, virtual interviews, understanding finance and the Wheel of Strength tool offering careers ideas. There are also free resources and curriculum linked lesson plans for teachers and tools to help parents help their young people. 2.8 million people have now participated in LifeSkills and seventy two per cent of all secondary schools in the UK have signed up to the programme.



Debbie Phillips said:

Between 2012 and 2015, we, delivered skills training to over 5.7 million disadvantaged young people. As we evolve our thinking we are seeking ways to deepen our impact, by delivering shared value: in economic growth and social inclusion.

To do this we are moving to a demand led model. We want to match the demand for skilled talent within the business sector, with people who have the attitude and aptitude but don’t have the opportunities.

Employability skills remain a vital element to our programmes - LifeSkills and Digital Wings (https://www.barclayslifeskills.com and https://digital.wings.uk.barclays) being prominent in the UK;

As a bank, we are in the business of helping others to thrive and grow. SMEs, particularly high growth and entrepreneurs are most likely to be creating jobs. Barclays’ commitment to support these businesses has been strengthening. For example: we now have two dedicated funds, totalling £200 million specifically for innovative companies under Barclays’ High Growth Venture Debt Fund and Innovation Finance, along with dedicated trained up teams of support and a network of physical spaces called Eagle Labs.

This September we took this support one step further. We began working with clients, and suppliers who are growing, to help identifying real job opportunities, whilst simultaneously collaborating with employability charity partners to find people who might be right for the roles, to get them skilled for the jobs and help the transition into them. We call this ‘Connect with Work.’

We are aiming that this demand led approach, which supports people and business from entry point to end job will create real, lasting impact, and by that we mean, jobs and careers.


Augustine Malija said:

Companies can do two things, invest in long-term skill development to youth and support their interesting activities either financially or in kind.

By long-term skill development I mean offer internships, apprenticeship and job specific training. Internships and apprenticeships are working out well in offering good jobs and providing sustainable skills. East African youth who intern with companies long-term get a chance to showcase their skills and hard work. Most of the times these youths are employed by the same organizations or easily get jobs within other organizations. It also provides skills useful for youth to run their own businesses. One of the respondents from the Youth Think Tank research interned with a software company for six months which gave him professional skills. He utilized these skills together with his friend to start up a software company that grew to give birth to another company.

Long term job specific training give space for young people to take meaningful roles in organizations. It helps them get managerial positions that are representative. This accelerates youth inclusiveness in decision making.

Supporting youth initiatives either in kind or financially contributes in developing their skill set. Youth can be having an interesting project to run but need in kind or financial support. With AIESEC, my team and I were fundraising to buy needed items for an orphanage in Dar es Salaam. So, we sent in letters to malls asking for a space to put a stall and raise funds. Out of five malls only one, Mlimani City, gave us a permission, the rest denied our requests during follow ups. This was the second time I experienced this.

This example communicates a powerful message. Had the rest malls accept our offer, more AIESEC members would gain marketing and communication skills. Standing on the stall meant selling the general idea to a person in a minute or two for them to support. In the end, only a few had this chance.



Hester le Roux said:

Thank you everyone for all your contributions – much food for thought here.
In the interest of time, let’s move on to our second question:

Q2: How can companies help young people to get ready for the world of work and to find good jobs? Who should they work with? Can you share examples of successful business-led programmes or innovative cross-sectoral / multi-stakeholder partnerships that help more young people acquire the right skills to find and keep decent work?


(Augustine Malija) #68

Ndungu with parents you raise a very important point. They are the first ones to play a role in educating children before educators. But how do you think they can be incorporated?

Ndungu Kahihu said:

Companies need to work through a range of stakeholders, including young people themselves. Of course the key change is ensuring industry input is recognised and appreciated as a critical part of skills training.This means working with governments, skills providers, parents, unions etc.

There are a number of successful models for doing this; some industry led, Like Harambee in South Africa, others like BEST (CAP YEI) or Akazi Kanoze in Rwanda bring together a multiplicity of stakeholders but with Business playing an indispensable role.


Augustine Malija said:

Companies can do two things, invest in long-term skill development to youth and support their interesting activities either financially or in kind.

By long-term skill development I mean offer internships, apprenticeship and job specific training. Internships and apprenticeships are working out well in offering good jobs and providing sustainable skills. East African youth who intern with companies long-term get a chance to showcase their skills and hard work. Most of the times these youths are employed by the same organizations or easily get jobs within other organizations. It also provides skills useful for youth to run their own businesses. One of the respondents from the Youth Think Tank research interned with a software company for six months which gave him professional skills. He utilized these skills together with his friend to start up a software company that grew to give birth to another company.

Long term job specific training give space for young people to take meaningful roles in organizations. It helps them get managerial positions that are representative. This accelerates youth inclusiveness in decision making.

Supporting youth initiatives either in kind or financially contributes in developing their skill set. Youth can be having an interesting project to run but need in kind or financial support. With AIESEC, my team and I were fundraising to buy needed items for an orphanage in Dar es Salaam. So, we sent in letters to malls asking for a space to put a stall and raise funds. Out of five malls only one, Mlimani City, gave us a permission, the rest denied our requests during follow ups. This was the second time I experienced this.

This example communicates a powerful message. Had the rest malls accept our offer, more AIESEC members would gain marketing and communication skills. Standing on the stall meant selling the general idea to a person in a minute or two for them to support. In the end, only a few had this chance.



Hester le Roux said:

Thank you everyone for all your contributions – much food for thought here.
In the interest of time, let’s move on to our second question:

Q2: How can companies help young people to get ready for the world of work and to find good jobs? Who should they work with? Can you share examples of successful business-led programmes or innovative cross-sectoral / multi-stakeholder partnerships that help more young people acquire the right skills to find and keep decent work?


(Kelly Trakalo) #69

Apprenticeships or some type of internship I think have to be a part of the solution. The US has pockets of success around apprenticeships but there is a lot of discussion at the national level with career and technical programs to include apprenticeship and to look at some networking and funding solutions.

http://sites.ed.gov/octae/2015/11/05/new-project-explores-connections-with-apprenticeships/

Richard Sandall said:


On apprenticeships: I think, clearly, a terrific opportunity to learn skills, whether soft and hard, and to generate networks and experience. One issue can be cost - it can be one of the most expensive ways to reach large numbers through donor programming if you end up paying the company to take on apprenticeships for long periods. So retreating to the facilitation/matching/infomation role may be a good idea to make things more sustainable
Ndungu Kahihu said:



Lewis Temple said:

I would be intrigued by the thoughts of the panel on the role of apprenticeships in providing a pathway to employment, either in place of or together with - formal skills training?

This is very important. We have trained 14000 youth in Kenya and achieved a job placement rate exceeding 70%. One of the key reasons for this success is the great investment we make in ensuring trainees receive direct exposure to the work before during and after training. We do this by organising sessions that are conducted by industry partners - including mock interviews -, mentorship, simulating conditions at work and a mandatory internship program of at least four weeks before graduation


(Ndungu Kahihu) #70

We started by appealing to their CSR (companies are made of people who care too) but increasing both they and us have gradually moved to a state of enlightened self interest. We want to help youth and they want good workers. We are now at the stage where we trying to make the case that our workers are superior and the business case is such that the Employer partners should meet part of the program delivery cost. It is not a made case as yet but we hope to get there eventually.

Hester le Roux said:

Ndung'u that's an amazing placement rate. What are you doing to convince companies that it's worth their while working with you and investing in these intitiatives? What are the main components of the business case for them?


(Dorothy Stuehmke) #71

Thanks for the question Hester. Yes, we do focus on multi-stakeholder, public-private collaborative approaches in developing markets too. One example is our partnership with the Global Fairness Initiative. Through our Creando tu Futuro Program in Colombia, Argentina and the Dominican Republic, we are providing in-person and online workforce training to disadvantaged youth. A key component and feature of this program is also bringing multi-stakeholders together at locally hosted events in Buenos Aires and Washington D.C. in an effort to catalyze a dialogue among global influencers in the field of youth unemployment.


(Richard Sandall) #72

I think you're on to a key point with evidence - one of the key ways to improve our programming around youth skills of any sort, and to try and ensure a strong cost-benefit ratio. Training programmes where demand far outstrips supply should lend themselves to randomised control trials to try and determine which skills mixes have the best effect. To date I don't think there has been enough of it

Kelly Trakalo said:


Hi Karen - at Pearson we are actively looking at evidence-based learning design around how to teach soft skills and how to incorporate it effectively into learning. I think it will take industry coming together with education so that we can effectively research and gather evidence of how skills learned transfer into the workplace.
Karen Moore said:

Hi all, I'm Karen Moore, a Program Manager, Youth Livelihoods, with The MasterCard Foundation.
From our experience with our partners CAP-YEI and many others, we concur that transferable or soft skills are crucial - but we still need more robust evidence to demonstrate how best to deliver them effectively and equitably, and to demonstrate and possibly certify the effects ofsoft skill training on disadvantaged youth's knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and capacity to find and keep a decent job or start a sustainable microbusiness.

(http://www.mastercardfdn.org/building-an-evidence-base-for-the-soft...)

And, to reinforce our ThinkTank member Augustine's point, we know that young people often combine learning and earning, both concurrently and over time. Private sector organisations that are able to facilitate earn while you learn apprenticeship or attachment opportunities will help support youth-inclusive growth while developing a skilled and loyal workforce. (see http://www.gan-global.org/)


(Debbie Phillips) #73

Since launching in 2012, Barclays has recruited 3,003 apprentices. An apprenticeship helps those with little or no experience become ready for the world of work, and is designed to grow confidence and build experience and skills. It is not just an interim assignment, as Barclays offer a permanent role and career pathway.



Kelly Trakalo said:

Apprenticeships or some type of internship I think have to be a part of the solution. The US has pockets of success around apprenticeships but there is a lot of discussion at the national level with career and technical programs to include apprenticeship and to look at some networking and funding solutions.

http://sites.ed.gov/octae/2015/11/05/new-project-explores-connectio...

Richard Sandall said:


On apprenticeships: I think, clearly, a terrific opportunity to learn skills, whether soft and hard, and to generate networks and experience. One issue can be cost - it can be one of the most expensive ways to reach large numbers through donor programming if you end up paying the company to take on apprenticeships for long periods. So retreating to the facilitation/matching/infomation role may be a good idea to make things more sustainable
Ndungu Kahihu said:



Lewis Temple said:

I would be intrigued by the thoughts of the panel on the role of apprenticeships in providing a pathway to employment, either in place of or together with - formal skills training?

This is very important. We have trained 14000 youth in Kenya and achieved a job placement rate exceeding 70%. One of the key reasons for this success is the great investment we make in ensuring trainees receive direct exposure to the work before during and after training. We do this by organising sessions that are conducted by industry partners - including mock interviews -, mentorship, simulating conditions at work and a mandatory internship program of at least four weeks before graduation


(Brandie Conforti) #74

Ndung'u, I agree. At JA many corporations look to work with us because they know we are helping to develop the workforce of the future. It is a very compelling reason to partner.



Ndungu Kahihu said:

We started by appealing to their CSR (companies are made of people who care too) but increasing both they and us have gradually moved to a state of enlightened self interest. We want to help youth and they want good workers. We are now at the stage where we trying to make the case that our workers are superior and the business case is such that the Employer partners should meet part of the program delivery cost. It is not a made case as yet but we hope to get there eventually.

Hester le Roux said:

Ndung'u that's an amazing placement rate. What are you doing to convince companies that it's worth their while working with you and investing in these intitiatives? What are the main components of the business case for them?


(James Sutton) #75

There is clearly a deficit in being able to offer soft skills that we take for granted in the developed world. Attributes such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution, decision-making, facilitation, ability to plan projects, mental resilience, and leadership. These are not things one can naturally just learn in a classroom environment, and they are built up through a series of experiences and experiences that challenge you and push you out of your comfort zone. Raleigh builds skills for life. There are businesses present in Tanzania that I have spoken with, for example, who say that finding young people with these attributes is becoming increasingly difficult in Africa. This is one of the reasons why Raleigh is being approached by businesses. For example, Ben Smith, Director of Sustainable Development at engineering firm AECOM has said “In my view programmes like Raleigh provide real world experience that is helpful in the workplace. If someone has Raleigh on their CV, I know they’re going to be driven, enthusiastic, motivated and an asset in the office.” It is these assets that businesses can help young people from developing countries to progress.


(Alan Large) #76

Thanks for your response Richard. What do you mean by 'business kits'? Did you provide access to Micro-credit to enable the new businesses to become established? I met with a VSO volunteer in 2014 who was working on the project and one of his concerns was overloading the market with so many recently trained 'artisans'. What evidence do you have that many of the businesses were successfully started, remain in business, and the impact of the intervention?

Richard Sandall said:


Hi Alan, there was a range of support. In one project (implemented bty VSO) they provided start up business kits to groups of youth who submitted winning business plans. The challenge sometimes was the grant size wasn't big enough to support all the members of the groups, and the numbers dropped off. In another component (implemented by Youth Business International), business mentoring and business advice services were provided post training - these had a strong effect for those self selecting into the post training support.


Alan Large said:

Hi Richard, I work for Tools for Self Reliance, a UK NGO which supports vocational training in Uganda (and other countries) local NGO's to provide business and vocational training to unemployed youth and other vulnerable groups. As a part of this we also provide refurbished tools so that the participants can set up a small business post training. What support post-training support did DfID provide?



Richard Sandall said:

I am Richard Sandall, Private Sector Development Adviser in DFID Uganda. I’ve been with DFID 9 years, and in Uganda 3 years. As PSD Adviser I am responsible for designing and managing projects that are linked to business growth. In Uganda I oversee an agribusiness project, and recently finished a £10.5 million project in the poorer Northern region of Uganda that saw 30,000 people trained in business and vocational skills.


(Hester le Roux) #77

We have not heard much about ensuring the demand-side is not neglected. Employability programmes are often criticised for being too supply-driven. What lessons can our panel share about ensuring skills development and employability support actually leads to good jobs? How do you measure your success?


(Ndungu Kahihu) #78


Sorry I misunderstood (aprenticeships/internships). I agree aprenticeship is an expensive way of training youth but only if you are refering to the 'formalised' western model. Otherwise if you travel across Africa you will find that aprenticeship is the way elders and others have passed on crucial skills to the young for millenia. Even today this is the way millions of young get their entry into emplysment or self employment. Unfortunately this an area that has largely been ignored by reseacrhers, no doubt contrubting to the erroneus impression that Africa has no home grown solutions to contribute to the youth unemplyment debate.


Richard Sandall said:


On apprenticeships: I think, clearly, a terrific opportunity to learn skills, whether soft and hard, and to generate networks and experience. One issue can be cost - it can be one of the most expensive ways to reach large numbers through donor programming if you end up paying the company to take on apprenticeships for long periods. So retreating to the facilitation/matching/infomation role may be a good idea to make things more sustainable
Ndungu Kahihu said:



Lewis Temple said:

I would be intrigued by the thoughts of the panel on the role of apprenticeships in providing a pathway to employment, either in place of or together with - formal skills training?

This is very important. We have trained 14000 youth in Kenya and achieved a job placement rate exceeding 70%. One of the key reasons for this success is the great investment we make in ensuring trainees receive direct exposure to the work before during and after training. We do this by organising sessions that are conducted by industry partners - including mock interviews -, mentorship, simulating conditions at work and a mandatory internship program of at least four weeks before graduation


(Augustine Malija) #79

Who should they work with?

Companies should work with education policy makers. This can be through collaborating in designing curriculums that offers skills needed by companies. This way educators will have a role to provide the relevant skills. Here is a quote from Young Africa Works Summit’s Demand Driven Skills session take away, “Communication between the private sector and policy makers is essential to ensure that education provides the skills that young people need to find work

They should also work with young people in program design. This will ensure that the designed programs are holistic and reflect real life experiences of young people.

Can you share examples of successful business-led programmes or innovative cross-sectoral / multi-stakeholder partnerships that help more young people acquire the right skills to find and keep decent work?

The Equity Group Foundation’s Wings to Fly program. It offers high school scholarships and mentoring sessions for students applying to financial aid and scholarships abroad. I happened to be one of this programs beneficiaries in Tanzania. Ours was called College Counselling program under Equity Bank Tanzania. We were guided throughout the process. I should admit that it improved my writing ability.

Deloitte Tanzania partnered with AIESEC in the University of Dar es Salaam for a sustainable skill development project. It does a series of trainings to sophomore and final year students starting from this March. It so far has benefited 10 final year students where eight of them got jobs and two are doing internships. This is a profound example of a company partnering with youth (AIESEC).

Another example comes from west Africa. Prior to Ashesi University’s design of its engineering curriculum, it had consultations with corporate Ghana. This helped them to know what specific skills should they deliver to its prospective students.


(Debbie Phillips) #80

Great point about the demand side. In September of this year (2016) we launched the newest of our employability programmes: Unreasonable Impact. We believe that this is the world’s first international network of accelerators focused on scaling up entrepreneurial solutions that will help employ thousands worldwide, while solving some of our most pressing societal challenges.

Run in the UK, US and Asia twice a year over the three year partnership with Unreasonable; cohorts of ten scale up businesses will join an intensive two-week accelerator. Each accelerator is designed to support growth-stage ventures with advice and guidance from a global community of world-class mentors and industry specialists, including experts from across Barclays.

Our first UK accelerator took place in September and our first US programme is running right now, so it is too early to talk about impact, but we are aiming to accelerate the creation of thousands of new jobs. For more information check out: “Unreasonable Impact.”



Hester le Roux said:

We have not heard much about ensuring the demand-side is not neglected. Employability programmes are often criticised for being too supply-driven. What lessons can our panel share about ensuring skills development and employability support actually leads to good jobs? How do you measure your success?