Promoting Apprenticeship as a Path for Youth Employment in Argentina, Costa Rica, and Kenya through Global Apprenticeships Network (GAN) National Networks
The Promoting Apprenticeship as a Path for Youth Employment Project (GAN) worked directly with employers, workers’ organizations, and governments to help increase the number of apprenticeship opportunities for vulnerable youth in Argentina, Costa Rica, and Kenya. The project created and strengthened private sector networks in support of apprenticeship and other types of work-based training, such as internships, in all three countries. It helped employers launch quality work training programs while ensuring these programs were accessible to disadvantaged youth.
One of the most pressing global challenges is providing quality job opportunities to the approximately 75 million youth of legal working age in search of a job. Often lacking needed job skills, youth from vulnerable backgrounds are at greater risk of turning to hazardous or illicit forms of work to support themselves. Many national governments, businesses, and workers’ organizations want to find ways to reduce this gap and equip youth with skills that are in-demand in modern economies. While large businesses often implement work-based training and apprenticeships programs, smaller companies are often unaware of the benefits of such programs or how to implement them.
The GAN Project sought to create more and better apprenticeship opportunities for vulnerable youth by helping employers understand how to start and implement a youth apprenticeship program and how to cooperate with the government to build national apprenticeship systems that are more inclusive. A key outcome of the project was the creation and consolidation of national-level apprenticeship networks in Argentina and Costa Rica, which served as coordination platforms for governments, large and small employers, and civil society organizations to launch apprenticeship programs and learn from one another. In addition to developing country-specific tools and best practices related to youth work-based training programs, the project encouraged governments, companies, and civil society to share best practices related to youth training.
(as of March 2021)
Argentina and Costa Rica:
- The GAN project in Argentina and Costa Rica created sustainable platforms where employers, labor-related government agencies, and civil society can better coordinate and develop market-driven apprenticeship programs for youth living in disadvantaged communities.
- Through support provided by the GAN project, the Federal Administration of Public Revenues recognized apprenticeship programs as a work category; a big step in legitimizing apprenticeships in Argentina.
- In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GAN Argentina project trained 400 teachers on their online work-based learning programs that bridges the skill gap between companies and disadvantaged youth. The online system made the program possible and sustainable when in-person learning was no longer safe.
- The GAN Costa Rica project successfully advocated for the Government to pass the Dual Education Law, which provides a legal framework for how the private sector and education institutions should work together to create market-driven apprenticeships and job opportunities for vulnerable youth. The Dual Education Center, as defined in the law, is the entity in charge of guiding businesses in adopting dual education programs.
- Through the Mas Competencias online platform, the GAN Costa Rica project along with Accenture and two non-governmental organizations, Sifais and Zonas ACTIM, were able to continue to prepare youth with critical job skills when in-person learning ceased during the pandemic. More than 80 vulnerable youth used the platform to gain digital literacy and soft skills.
- The project developed a Creative Mentorship Network in Kenya to help youth navigate the challenges of working in the creative sector. The Network debuted in June 2021 and will continue to provide young creatives/artists with a space to connect and learn from others in the industry.