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

(Augustine Malija) #101

That is a great observation Ndungu!

Ndungu Kahihu said:

One limitation that all these successful initiatives (including CAP YEI) and models face is that there are small scale. With over 200 million youth across our continent desperately needing jobs, small pilots will not do it. What we need are organisations or countries willing to scale up such programs and sharing their experience with the rest. I understand Rwanda has started in this direction and the country is small enough and centrally led that it will probably be quickly successful and maybe even avoid the political challenges that kill similar efforts in biggest countries. We need more Rwandas.

Augustine Malija said:

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.

(Augustine Malija) #102

Thank you for your time as well. Here is the link to the Youth Think Tank Report www.mastercardfdn.org/youth-think-tank-report-2015-2016/

Hester le Roux said:

That brings us to the end of the live section of this discussion. Thank you so much to all our panellists for generously sharing their time and insights.

And thank you to everyone from the Business Fights Poverty community who joined in - we appreciate your support for this Challenge and your sharing your thoughts and experiences with us.

You can continue post your comments here; please do include links to reports and other materials that you think might add to our exploration of what works.

We will be running a number of other events and activities as part of this BFP Challenge on Youth Employability. If you’d like to stay up to date with our activities and haven’t already joined the Challenge, you can do so here.

Thanks again everyone!

(Tahsinah Ahmed) #103

Participatory approaches in designing and bottom up planning have always proved to be successful in any development intervention. But this is a challenging if structures and systems are centralized, which is still very much the case in Bangladesh.
BRAC's programmes has outreach to village level and has management mechanisms in place accordingly. There is a strong focus on innovations and knowledge management where the voice of our participants is important. Programs are designed through demand analysis and continuous learning takes place through well-established M&E system. Monthly discussions take place at field level and the learning are used for improvement.
Besides the demand surveys, we take feedback from our learners and also from our graduates who are now employed on how we can improve the training programme e.g. the need to introduce the trendy softwares alongside hardware in ICT training, to keep pace with trends in changes of tools and equipments, the need to provide loan packages for start ups etc.We are continuously working to improve this aspect of our work.

(Alan Large) #104

It is interesting that you say that some of the success stories only benefited a few of the group members. Did DfID encourage group formation and if so what criteria were used? It is also interesting to note that it was the best and brightest that self selected into these support services. This suggests a challenge with identifying the most suitable participants. How were the participants selected and what criteria was used? From experience many local NGO's want to support the 'poorest' individuals whereas these may not benefit the most. What are you thoughts about this? When will the report be published as I think it could be a useful resource?

Richard Sandall said:

These were grants used to purchase business start up materials typically for rural livelihood activities - knitting machines , construction tools etc. The VSO volunteer certainly identified one of the risks involved - another is that the presence of equipment does not solve all the other underlying challenges facing a new business in a poor area. There were success stories, but often only benefitting a few group members. We have a project review that getting finalised at the moment. It suggests better returns from business mentoring rather than start up kits - but this is complicated by the fact that it was the best and birghtest that self selected into these support services.

Alan Large said:

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.

(Shupi Mweene) #105

My name is Shupi Kayela Mweene. I am a Consultant under the Zambia Business in Development Facility (ZBiDF) housed under the African Management Services Company (AMSCO) in Lusaka and financed by SIDA. We broker cross sector partnerships around development challenges with the main view of bring business into development to achieve shared value.

I am in charge of fostering partnerships in the skills development area. In Zambia, we have similar challenges as described by most if not all the respondents to this discussion. We have both underemployment of the youths and unemployment. We also have a private sector that is not very involved in skills development. In trying to encourage this, we have formed a cross sector partnership called National Skills Development Partnership involving Ministries of Higher Education, Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the training regulator TEVETA. We also have the private sector represented by Zambia Federation of Employers and we have NGOs i.e. Youth Bridge Foundation and World Skills Zambia. We also have the International Labour Organisation. All the partners agreed to work together by signing an MOU, albeit, not legally binding. To kick start the collaboration, it has been decided that we first start by looking at policy and regulatory issues that impede private sector from participating in skills development. We have an old Apprenticeship Act which was enacted in 199/70. This needs to be relooked at so that we have make it relevant to the circumstances prevailing today and make if clear for private sector to participate.

I am happy with all the rich contributions to this topic and I look forward to learning more. I will sending emails and calls to individuals so that we can learn more and replicate most of the examples that have been shared of what is working in other countries.

(Augustine Malija) #106

Good comments Sahr. I am curious, can you elaborate on your comment that business appear to see young people as a burden? Would be nice if you bring in lived experiences.

M. Sahr Nouwah said:

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

Youth employment benefits business in a manner that needs to capture the attention of businesses. Young people are part of what I call business growth. The young talents have the ambition, creativity and the endurance to work long hours as well as days to make production greater and enjoyable for consumers.

So, for businesses to help young people acquire the right skills to transition into good jobs or for me, I will say future needed jobs, there are series of measures that need to be in place.

- Businesses must understand that young people are not a burden

- That each support provided pays off in the profits they make out of the young talent creativity

- Business must endeavour to invest in university programs that built young talents

- Businesses must develop career development programs that train ambitious, talented and willing young men and women to excel

- Businesses must work with volunteers programs to identify talents

- Businesses must work with career development institutions to channel the way for open business initiatives that do not teach young people only money but ethics and human rights

- Human Resource managers must sit annually with young employees for frank discussions. This will allow them know what the young employee sees ahead. ( in many instances, especially in poor nations, young people take certain jobs based on the principle of survival, to keep this young talent focus, you need to discuss with them and help them reshape what they want)