Balancing Market Approaches to Better Youth Employment Outcomes
The largest generation in history is entering the workforce, seeking opportunities to improve their lives and livelihoods through gainful employment. How many jobs are available and what type of jobs they are (e.g., formal versus informal) in large part defines if or how much young people are able to avoid poverty, have food security and a healthy diet, contribute positively to their communities and other outcomes. In many of the contexts in which USAID works, this means employing more people than have been employed in older generations and improving the overall quality of jobs to help deliver economic transformation.
Employment creation activities are often categorized into one of two categories: supply-side or demand-side approaches. Supply-side approaches are those that strengthen the supply of the workforce and usually focus on providing job-relevant skills to prospective job seekers so that they will be better equipped to enter the workforce. Demand-side approaches seek to increase demand for more workers by encouraging job creation through private sector engagement, market systems development and/or policy change. These two types of approaches each have their benefits and drawbacks — you can’t train youth into jobs that don’t exist, but youth also need to be trained in the skills required for jobs that are or become available.
In this webinar, we will hear from panelists working on youth employment issues in international development on their perspective for how to balance out supply- and demand-side approaches to deliver better youth employment outcomes. We hope that attendees will leave the event knowing more about how to assess when each approach is useful, the drawbacks of focusing on only one of the two approaches and how to successfully implement activities that address supply- and demand-side aspects simultaneously.
Lulama Ndibongo Traub
Value-chain and Policy Analyst
ReNAPRI; Bureau of Food and Agricultural Policy at the University of Stellenbosch
Lulama’s dual citizenship – U.S. and South Africa – signifies an underlying passion for both countries she considers home. Her current research interests include: outreach and capacity building programs in collaboration with African-based agricultural policy think-tanks, focusing on regional staple food marketing and trade policies and their effects on sustainable and equitable development. To this end, she serves as the Chair of the Technical Committee for the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI); an African-led, African-driven regionally coordinated group of national agricultural policy research institutes. She currently resides in South Africa and lectures at the University of Stellenbosch while conducting research with the Bureau of Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP).
Dr. Bernd Mueller
ILO’s Decent Work Team for Eastern & Southern Africa
Dr. Bernd Mueller is Employment Specialist in ILO’s Decent Work Team for Eastern & Southern Africa. In this role, he is responsible for providing technical guidance and support to the organization’s members and constituents with regard to designing and implementing employment creation policies and initiatives. He also is ILO's regional coordinating specialist on employment matters in Africa. Before joining the ILO, he was Rural Employment Specialist at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) based in Rome. He has conducted extensive research on labour markets across Africa, and has authored a multitude of peer-reviewed publications on the topic of labour markets and employment promotion on the continent, particularly in rural areas. He has over 10 years of experience as development practitioner, policy advisor, researcher, university teacher, and consultant, with a specialist focus on labour markets and employment in Sub-Saharan Africa. He holds the degree of Diplom-Volkswirt (MSc Economics equiv.) from the University of Muenster, Germany, as well as a PhD in Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Tracy Kimathi is the founder of Baridi. Since 2018, she has been gradually setting up an early stage footprint in the decentralized African energy and livestock sector through developing and owing commercial micro-projects.