As part of our Leadership, Employability, and Skills Program (LES), IGD serves as a resource and knowledge manager on skills development in Africa to companies in our network. We are proud to collaborate with many organizations that are creating impact on the continent such as our newest partner International Youth Foundation (IYF). This blog, written by IYF staff, discusses their model to engage businesses as key partners to develop the needed skills of young Africans.
For 25 years, IYF has mobilized business, government, and civic leaders to support solutions that work, including positively impacting young Africans across 16 countries. IYF programming on the continent provides opportunities for youth to gain the skills employers seek and bring their good business ideas to life.
IYF’s experience around the world has proven that comprehensive, demand-driven programs that equip youth with life skills and work readiness training relevant to their local job market—coupled with mentorship, career guidance, and on-the-job training—enable youth to find productive livelihoods and provide businesses with the workforce they need. To ensure scale and sustainability, IYF invests in strengthening the capacity of partners and the larger ecosystem of stakeholders—private sector, government, and civil society—to drive systemic change that improves youth employability outcomes over the long term.
Across the globe, IYF facilitates innovative public-private partnerships that enhance young people’s access to employment while also addressing human resource constraints of employers in high-growth economic sectors. IYF engages businesses as key partners, recognizing the private sector’s strong comparative advantage in expanding economic opportunities for youth through job creation, human capital development, and the cultivation of linkages with youth-owned enterprises.
IYF designs initiatives based on its original youth labor market assessments and in close consultation with partners. With a demonstrated understanding of global companies’ business objectives and social priorities, IYF has significant experience implementing effective, sustainable, and scalable programs that generate shared value and create ever-growing opportunities for youth.
Central to IYF’s work with corporate partners is their flagship life skills training, Passport to Success®. Developed and refined over the course of a decade, PTS adheres to best practice standards. With an emphasis on work readiness, the training focuses on ten widely endorsed skills, including self-confidence, responsibility, and respect, that respond to the needs of youth, employers, youth-serving organizations, and other key stakeholders.
Also at the core of IYF’s evidence-based programming are rigorous monitoring and evaluation and the effective use of data. They, in turn, serve to measure an initiative’s success related to youth outcomes as well as the return on investment for IYF corporate partners. To gauge the success of a youth employability initiative, IYF measures impact across multiple stakeholders:
- For youth, IYF evaluates their increase in skill levels, incomes, and job placement and retention rates.
- For businesses that employ trained youth, IYF monitors the relevance and effectiveness of employability skills in responding to market needs as well as retention rates, productivity, employer satisfaction, and upward mobility.
- For local implementing/training partners, IYF measures strengthened organizational and programmatic capacity resulting from targeted technical assistance targeted at scale and sustainability.