The current pace of job creation in South Africa is insufficient to meet the demands of a youth population growing in size and becoming better educated. If not catered to, this large unemployed and disenfranchised group has the potential to create political and social instability.
Under a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation, Making Cents International supported the Foundations’ Digital Jobs Africa’s (DJA) initiative, which was formulated to “catalyze new, sustainable employment opportunities and skills training for African youth”. Making Cents identified, scaled up, and replicated best-in-class Demand-Driven Training (DDT) models in South Africa and influenced DDT funders and a wide range of training providers. These included South African DDT providers, government, post-secondary training institutions such as universities, and in-house corporate training programs.
Making Cents assessed ten leading Demand-Driven Training organizations to assemble best-in-class characteristics and practices in a DDT Framework that South African DDT providers can use to align their youth employment and vocational trainings with private sector employment opportunities. Based on this framework Making Cents developed and published a DDT Toolkit for donors, DDT providers, and other youth training providers to maximize their effectiveness in engaging and committing employers, successfully matching trainees to job opportunities, and placing and retaining high-potential disadvantaged youth in jobs. The toolkit offers support to users in assessing the market alignment of their youth training programs, while identifying where current DDT programs can be improved. By providing guided examples of best-in-class practices and resources, the toolkit helps organizations make training investment decisions and assists education and training providers in optimizing their results and impact.
By the project’s end, Making Cents enabled DDT providers in South Africa to design and implement rigorous job-placement-focused DDT offerings in ICT, retail, hospitality, financial services, and other sectors through the toolkit. as well as influenced other youth employment training programs and DDT funders.