Mozambique has high levels of youth unemployment, particularly among young women. At the same time, Mozambique has a shortage of skilled labor in the health and social welfare industries, creating an opportunity to better align youth’s skills with the needs of the market.
In Mozambique, Making Cents International is exploring opportunities for employment in the health and social welfare value chains for young women ages 19–24 through a buy-in activity under the YouthPower2: Learning and Evaluation contract. This activity is funded by the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, a first-of-its-kind, whole-of-government effort that seeks to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 through U.S. government activities and private-public partnerships. The activity will build upon the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR’s) Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe (DREAMS) partnership, an ambitious public-private partnership to reduce rates of HIV among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in the highest HIV burden countries through multi-sectoral programming that goes beyond typical health initiatives.
To understand economic opportunities for youth in the health and social service sectors, Making Cents conducted a literature review with a specific focus on young women in Mozambique. The literature review explored topics such as trends in the health and social services labor markets, supply-side and demand-side constraints, need for wrap-around services such as access to financing for health sector self-employment, and special considerations for the training and placement of young women into these careers.
Building on this literature review, Making Cents is conducting a value chain assessment and workforce development landscape analysis to identify entry points for youth across the health and social services sectors in Mozambique. The analysis maps available skills training programs, identifies the technical and soft skills demanded by employers, and examines constraints young women face in these sectors.
Finally, Making Cents will leverage these insights to advise on the design of economic strengthening activities under DREAMS in Mozambique. Making Cents will also link DREAMS partners to the global YouthPower Learning Network to share lessons and results with the broader community of youth development practitioners.