Workforce Development and Youth Employment

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 skills employers need as its #1 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 under age 30, it is imperative to empower youth with the 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 communities, the youth participants and the employers.


Creative's approach to workforce development

Creative approaches workforce development as part of a comprehensive approach to youth development as well as risk reduction, matching training programs with the needs of employers in growing sectors and opening opportunities for individuals and their communities. Watch Video

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, employers and their communities.

Creative brings an unparalleled understanding of the needs of vulnerable populations, particularly at-risk youth, women and persons with disabilities, drawing from 38 years 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.



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Creative welcomes Yali fellow and entrepreneur from Zambia

A 22-year-old entrepreneur from Zambia will spend six weeks working at Creative as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative Mandela Washington Fellowship. Learn More...

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NICARAGUA: Empowering youth through technical education

Along Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast, jobs are hard to come by. The Aprendo y Emprendo project is empowering young people with economic opportunities in their home country through demand-driven technical education. Learn More...

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Nicaraguan youth on the front lines of improving technical education

A group of Nicaraguan youth have come together to support the development of technical training and careers in the Caribbean Coast region as part of a project called Aprendo y Emprendo. Learn More...