Evidence on skills training

Skills training interventions are intended to provide youth with improved skills, knowledge and attitudes to allow them to achieve better economic productivity. Higher skills are associated with better labour market outcomes. Human capital is the stock of competencies, knowledge, social and personal attributes (‘skills') that help people produce economic output.

Interventions include formal qualifications to courses on soft skills and advice on job search; from classroom teaching to on-the-job internships and infirm training; from short-term intensive courses of a few weeks, to long term retraining leading to a degree, and lasting two years or more.

Given the level of policy attention and spending, it is important to understand who are we aiming to help? What does the policy aim to achieve? How is it delivered? And especially, does it work?

Edited Tue, Jun 24, 2014 12:02 PM

Replies to this Topic

Expertise on Evidence of Good Practices of Life Skills and Employability: Programs for High Risk Youth in Latin America

Authors: Ryan Cooper, Amanda Dawes, Paul Gertler & Claudia Martínez A.

A study providing an overview of existing evidence and good practices of life skills and employability programs for high risk youth in Latin America as part of the planning of their new program in the region (2012-2017). The mission of the Jacobs Foundation is to promote productive youth development by supporting projects in the Area of Research and of Social Intervention in various countries in the world. Their interest lies in programs which enable youth to acquire the relevant professional and social skills which are required by the labor market.

Youth Programs Review final.pdf

Profile Image for Jane M. Jane
  • Mon, Jun 30, 2014 11:45 AM

This policy is excellent, timely and should work. A combination of formal training, soft skills and job placements or attachments should prepare one for the life of work. However, in Kenya there is too much emphasis on formal training and too little or no soft skills exposure and training for students. This translates to graduates with impressive academic papers but who are very poor at work environment behavior and ethics. As a result their chances of employment in formal environments is low and when employed are unable to keep jobs for long or progress well in their careers. This results in dissatisfaction on their part and they begin to hop from job to job.

Discussion: Lifelong learning for the future of work, 16 to 29 March 2018

Join: http://www.skillsforemployment.org/KSP/en/Discussions/EDMSP1_210225

Moderators :Ms. Olga Strietska-Ilina

This E-discussion aims to bring together representatives of government, education and training institutions, the private sector, worker organizations, academia, and international organizations among others to discuss concrete policy options in developed and developing countries for promoting lifelong learning (LLL). It has been organized in the framework of the ILO Centenary Initiative on the Future of Work (FOW). The FOW Initiative aims at understanding as well as responding effectively to new challenges posed by a number of drivers of change in order to advance the Organisation's mandate for social justice.

Many of the global trends and forces impacting the world of work - technological, climate, new forms of work organization, globalisation, demographical - will have a profound and diverse impact on the demand for skills. Skills development can help workers and economies take advantage of opportunities in the future, act as an important enabler of transition, and address some of the associated costs. However, the capacity of education and training systems to anticipate and adjust to constantly changing skills demands will require: 

• good quality basic education that provides the foundational skills that allow people to embrace change, take advantage of emerging job opportunities, and engage in further learning;

• the facilitation of dynamic learning over the life cycle to ensure that people keep pace with digital and technology-related skills and other factors of change to remain productively engaged in employment.

Lifelong Learning (LLL) is central to managing the different transitions that workers will face over the course of the life cycle. It can ensure that they successfully enter the labour market, continually upskill while in employment, and reskill to take advantage of emerging jobs throughout their careers. 

This life-cycle approach raises fundamental questions about the respective responsibilities of governments, workers and enterprises in making choices about when and how to reskill and retrain. It requires strategies to ensure the financing and delivery of skills development, whether through the enhancement of public investment, the provision of financial and other incentives to boost engagement in learning activities, and/or approaches that seek to combine a mix of public and private investment in all phases of delivery.

We encourage you to read the Issue Brief ‘Skills Policies and Systems for a Future Workforce' prepared for the 2nd Meeting of the Global Commission on the Future of Work which took place on February 15-17 as additional background information on this discussion, see below.  


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