The ability to find work is critical for economic growth and stability. And the global need is great. Not only is the world experiencing a youth bulge—fully one quarter of the population is between 10 and 24—but more and more women are entering or reentering the workforce. Empowering people with productive work that contributes meaningfully to society takes a coordinated strategy involving government, education, and industry.
Approach and Expertise
Consistent with our mission, IESC takes an explicitly private sector, market-based approach to workforce development to meet employment needs. We address the hiring demands of employers from the outset. Our goal is to place workers in jobs where there are career development opportunities. With new technologies being developed continuously and the modern economy changing at an unprecedented pace, we cannot know what labor force will be needed well into the future. But we do know that a responsive workforce will be able to handle this challenge.
- We prepare workers with needed knowledge, skills, and attitudes for successful employment or self-employment.
- We provide employers with effective ways to communicate their demand for skills.
- We serve as the intermediary between business, the workforce (including and especially youth), and the educational system, making sure that the skills developed through training and education are a match for the skills that employers need.
- We rely on good data and analysis to be responsive to local context market demand.
Workforce Development in Action
In Sri Lanka, we brought together private and public sector leaders to create a youth education program modeled on Junior Achievement. We started a business incubator outside the school system to support student-run enterprises to make Young Entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka sustainable.
In Afghanistan, we trained women—many of them youth—in high-value, high-demand skills, for example, medical technology, double-entry accounting, and computer network administration.
Also in Sri Lanka, we are putting more career counselors in schools, including rural areas, and making sure those counselors understand current employer demand and the sectors with the most opportunity for growth.