Delivering Technical and Business Skills Training

AGI Lessons Learned

Implement skills training with the end goal of employment in mind. Skills projects should shift away from delivering training and towards delivering employment. Engage the private sector appropriately in the delivery of skills training and create incentives in the project that reward employment outcomes (see Results-Based Contracting).

Support young women to make informed decisions about pursuing demand-driven trades and monitor their entry into nontraditional fields for negative consequences. Changing gender norms in labor markets is challenging, but not insurmountable, particularly when working with youth who are eager and can be more accepting of new ideas. Nevertheless, project staff and participants will need active guidance and support.

Promote friendship, fun, and positive behaviors during the training. Making the project enjoyable can increase attendance and completion rates, and social activities such as role plays and games can be good ways of reinforcing learning objectives. In Liberia, for example, project participation is creatively incentivized through attendance prizes, contests, and business plan competitions. During the classroom phase, girls are grouped into small teams to help build their social capital and maintain their motivation.

AGI pilots applied innovative approaches to encourage training providers (government, private sector, and NGO providers) to work toward the end goal of employment. Linking skills training to the market during implementation is particularly important for young women because they tend to be concentrated in low-productivity, low-employment fields and need targeted support to overcome occupational sex-segregation in the labor market. During the training delivery, projects should actively seek to connect young women to productive opportunities in the market, expand their job and business networks, and encourage them to think critically and aspire beyond traditionally feminized realms. Several AGI strategies are detailed below:

Strategies for Delivering Market-Relevant Training
Strategy Resources and Tools
Partnering with local business associations to design and deliver the project may be an appropriate strategy if there is a strong existing business association in the project setting. For example, in Laos PDR, the project is implemented in partnership with a local business association for young people—YEAL. Resource icon Laos AGI Results Note

Hiring private companies to provide trainings that are tailored to a firm's or sector's specific needs. This can be a good option if:

(i) there is a public interest in encouraging the private sector to train potential workers who have an atypical employee profile (for example, more vulnerable populations)

(ii) the particular firm(s) belongs to a large or burgeoning sector of the economy where there is predicted to be substantial growth in labor demand

(iii) the skills mismatch between private sector demand and labor supply is so severe that there is a case for public policy to play a role.

In Rwanda, for instance, a private sector company is contracted to provide technical training in a specific sector (export-oriented arts and crafts) within the Government Vocational Training Centers.

Resource icon Rwanda Description of Services Delivered by the Private Sector

Resource icon Nepal Factsheet on T&E Strategies to Include Women in Non-Traditional Trades

Hire private sector training companies or NGOs to deliver technical training and assist with job placement. Oftentimes private sector training companies are the primary suppliers of skills, particularly in settings where the public supply of technical vocational education and training (TVET) is nascent or underdeveloped. Because they tend to be flexible and responsive to the market, private sector training and employment service providers can be particularly successful in assisting women into nontraditional demand-driven trades. Healthy competition from private sector providers can encourage public providers to build their capacity and increase their market relevance. For example, AGIs in Liberia, Haiti and Nepal contracted private sector training and employment service providers to deliver technical training and follow-up services in demand-driven fields. Tool icon Haiti Technical Training Provider ToR
Tailor trainings to private sector needs and formalize upfront placement agreements with companies. This strategy can help ensure that skills training is demand-driven and that there are placement opportunities for graduates. However, there may be resistance from the private sector if labor demand is low or unpredictable. The AGI in Afghanistan, for instance, signed MoUs with private sector employers, whereby they formally express their support for the project and agree to provide graduates with internships and the possibility of job placement. A staff person within the PIU (the Social Marketing Officer) leads the outreach efforts to private sector employers.

Tool icon Afghanistan Social Marketing Officer ToR

Resource icon Afghanistan MoU with Private Sector Employers

Engage the private sector as technical advisors to the project. This relatively low-cost approach can be implemented in most settings. In Liberia, for example, the project has organized Private Sector Working Groups that provide routine guidance on project activities. Resource icon Liberia EPAG Guidelines for Engaging the Private Sector
Enlist members of the private sector as guest speakers in classrooms and as participants in special events. This low-cost and relatively simple approach to private sector engagement can have large benefits for project participants. In Liberia, for example, members of the private sector serve as guest speakers in the classroom, judges in the business plan competitions, facilitators during Entrepreneur Fair and Career Day—providing inspiration and motivation to the trainees.

Resource icon Liberia EPAG Business Plan Competition Program

Resource icon Liberia EPAG Career Day Program

Top of page