Workforce development has emerged as a top priority for countries, businesses and the donor community. Employment, either in the formal or informal sectors, provides income and opportunities for advancement, and a proven, lasting pathway out of poverty. It is also linked to greater social and political stability—successful workforce programs can reduce crime and violence.
The business community routinely ranks finding and retaining workers with the technical and soft skills employers need as its number one challenge. Foundations and donors are investing significantly in innovative, evidence-driven programs to build local capacity to train participants with the vocational and soft skills needed to obtain and retain jobs.
The large numbers of young people in nations around the world create additional urgency for developing high quality workforce development systems. With half of the world’s population aged 30 and younger, it is imperative to empower them with the market-driven 21st century skills and opportunities to succeed.
Several principles characterize our approach to workforce development. Creative’s workforce initiatives are assessment-driven. Based on extensive analysis of labor markets, youth, the policy environment and workforce development service providers, we design workforce programs based on a detailed understanding of the needs of the young women and young men, other vulnerable youth; their communities, and the employers.
Creative takes a systems approach to sustainably strengthen workforce systems around the world, attaining scale and sustainability through aligning incentives and building linkages and local capacity, to achieve win-win outcomes for youth, their communities, employers, and education institutions.
Creative brings an unparalleled understanding of the needs of vulnerable populations, particularly at-risk youth, young women, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities drawing from decades of experience working with these groups.
Private sector engagement is central to our approach; we build local capacity to develop employer/training institution partnerships to design and offer demand-driven curricula. Creative embeds positive youth development principles and practices, and meaningful youth engagement in all workforce programming.