Using a Systems Approach to Ensure Life Skills Training for Youth Responds to Employers’ Needs
A key element of USAID Bridges to Employment’s approach to workforce development is to ensure its trainings provide youth with the in-demand qualifications that employers seek, including life skills such as self-confidence, communications, and teamwork. Through consultations with a range of private sector companies in high-growth economic sectors, project staff learned of employers’ need for youth applicants with greater competencies in critical thinking and self-control. To ensure that youth from the country’s highest-crime municipalities learn these skills, USAID Bridges to Employment collaborated closely with El Salvador’s national youth agency Instituto Nacional de la Juventud (INJUVE), as well as with employers, youth, and grantee training centers to supplement the project’s life skills curriculum developed by INJUVE with newly designed training modules focused on 1) self-control and 2) critical, creative, and innovative thinking.
This week, project staff began rolling out the new materials, teaching 35 instructors from 11 grantee training institutions and 15 members of INJUVE’s technical staff on how to incorporate the key themes of self-control and critical, creative, and innovative thinking into their USAID-funded life skills training.
This systems approach, which required the involvement of multiple key stakeholders from the private sector, government, and training centers, ensured the new materials were specifically designed to provide youth with relevant skills that increase their job readiness and employability. Furthermore, through INJUVE’s formal adoption of the modules, the materials will have a lasting impact on the quality and relevance of workforce development services provided to youth across El Salvador for years to come.