Our Work

Workforce Development

Consistent with our mission, IESC takes a private sector, market-based approach to workforce development. We work with and bring together employers, the current and future workforce, including and especially youth, and the educational system, making sure that the skills developed through training, education, and work-based learning are a match for the ever-changing skills that employers need today and tomorrow. Through our efforts, we equip jobseekers with modern skills that prepare them for the digital economy and help them to secure in-demand jobs, facilitate career development opportunities for jobseekers, strengthen labor markets, and enable enterprises to evolve and grow.

Program Examples

Sri Lanka

Youth Employment and Business Start-up (YouLead)

Funder: USAID

Program Overview: YouLead is enhancing employment opportunities for youth in Sri Lanka by working with both the public and private sectors to: improve the quality and relevance of vocational and technical training; link youth to demand-driven employment opportunities; and increase sustainable self-employment through entrepreneurial and business development services.

Relation to IESC Expertise: On YouLead, we partner with Sri Lankan businesses from multiple economic sectors including ICT, hospitality, and renewable energy to build skills and expand youth employment. In one initiative, the program is providing training opportunities to youth who have left formal education and youth from vocational training backgrounds to help them gain the skills necessary to promote, install, and conduct maintenance of solar energy systems. Upon completion of the training, participating youth are qualified to work as entry-level solar technicians nationwide. IESC then facilitates connections to private sector companies with potential employment opportunities.

North Macedonia

Youth Actively Create Opportunities

Funder: USAID

Program Overview: Youth Actively Create Opportunities increases positive youth contributions to society and collective youth leadership across North Macedonia. The program is focused on three broad areas of intervention: creating partnerships to support the development of economic opportunities attractive to youth; strengthening youth competencies for jobs, progressive careers, and active civic participation; and promoting values that underpin youth self-reliance.

Relation to IESC Expertise: Under the program, IESC is working with community-based organizations, the private sector, and government agencies to expand skills development and employment programs relevant to youth. IESC is implementing extensive social media campaigns to promote the offerings and expand reach to rural and marginalized communities. Taking a local , IESC offers technical assistance and co-investment grants for stakeholders to fund and implement their own solutions to enhance youth employment – with strategic advice from the program’s Youth & Private Sector Advisory Board. Examples of co-investment grants include expanding entrepreneurship programs and supporting organizations that equip entrepreneurial youth with knowledge and skills and link them to mentors and investment.

Republic of Georgia

Industry-led Skills Development (ILSD)

Funder: USAID

Program Overview: The Industry-led Skills Development program is developing industry-relevant human capacity that contributes to high-value employment opportunities and increased economic competitiveness in Georgia. The program is achieving this via a $13 million grants fund, by systematically engaging employers to equip Georgians with skills demanded in sectors with high growth potential, and by creating direct linkages between training programs and employment opportunities.

Relation to IESC Expertise: IESC leverages technical assistance and the program’s $13 million grants fund to pilot and scale demand-driven workforce development initiatives. Through these initiatives, we address constraints to employment among priority populations including women, youth, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and those living in rural areas, and we incentivize private sector engagement and investment in skills development and youth transitioning from education to employment. To ensure nationwide coverage and reach into underserved communities, we engage a broad array of training providers, business associations, regional chambers of commerce, and development partners to publicize grant cycles and deliver program training.

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