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Experiences from Sierra Leone in Youth Employment


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Presentation by Anthony Koroma, National Youth Comissioner of Sierra Leone, made at the Youth Employment Workshop in Abuja, Nigeria on July 23, 2013.

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Experiences from Sierra Leone in Youth Employment

  1. 1. Learning from Past Experiences for Future Opportunities in Youth Employment in West Africa Abuja, Nigeria July 23 - 24, 2012 Anthony A. Koroma Commissioner, National Youth Commission of Sierra Leone The World Bank Group
  2. 2. PRESENTATION OUTLINE  Sierra Leone Youth Profile  Situation of Youth in the Labour Market;  Status of Programme Implementation-: a. Policy Development b. Strategy for Youth Employment c. Youth Employment Interventions • Youth Employment Support Project (YESP) • Other Youth Employment Initiatives  Coordination  Lessons Learned
  3. 3. Target Population Profile  Youth- (15-35) years  34% of the population (2004 census)  Split across three age groups (15-19 / 20-24 / 25-35);  Half of youth urbanised, poor and lack professional skills;  About (800,000) 70% unemployed or underemployed or employed without remuneration;  Self employment – major means of livelihood for many youth  Low human capital, high illiteracy - 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000 00-04 10-14 20-24 30-34 40-44 50-54 60-64 70-74 80-84 90- over Age Females Age Males Target Youth
  4. 4. The Situation of Youth in the Labour Market • High level of inactivity, especially for male and urban youth. • High unemployment rates, up to four times higher than older workers. • Urban youth aged between 15 and 24 are ten times more likely to be unemployed than rural youth. • High unemployment for young women in both urban and rural settings. • High and growing levels of employment and underemployment in the informal economy, where employment is often low paid and dangerous. • Lack of high quality skills, mismatch of supply of skills to labour market needs. • Lack of business experience or knowledge of self-employment as an option. • Lack of access to targeted business development services that include:- access to information on variety of employment opportunities • low creativity, absence of innovative orientation • low investment capabilities, poor technological capabilities overall • lack of marketing capacity by most youth due to poor exposure and low education and training • limited or no access to credit facilities, especially the appropriate types such as micro- finance (Sources) Modified from “Improving Opportunities for Sustainable Youth Employment in Sierra Leone”, World Bank 2007 and “Productive and decent work for youth in the Mano River Union: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire”, UNIDO 2007
  5. 5. Drugs & Ignorance Prostitution Lack of Skills & Illiteracy Violence Lack of capital Poverty
  6. 6. POLICY DEVELOPMENT • National Youth Policy. First National Youth Policy was formulated in 2003. Review of this policy on-going with the assistance of the World Bank. It is expected that a new policy will be in place by December, 2013 • National Youth Employment Strategy (2009-2012). Derived from PRSP II (Agenda for Change) • National Youth Commission Strategic Plan 2013-2017 finalised and produced with the assistance of the UNDP. The plan in place is to provide policy guidance to ministries, agencies, Local Councils, and other institutions active in the sector. The plan will guide the commission and its operations in the next five years; • National Youth Employment Action Plan (NYEAP). The 2009 -2012 Youth Employment Strategy has been revised for 2013-2017 with the help of the UNDP. It is an elaboration of youth provisions in the draft National Employment Policy prepared with the leadership of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS), the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) with the support of GIZ and ILO. • Local Content Policy. Formulated in 2012, the policy is meant to create an enabling environment for the Sierra Leonean youth to secure gainful employment and stake in private sector investments and operations in key sectors – mining, construction, oil, etc. • Sierra Leone’s Third Generation Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2013-2018) – The Agenda for Prosperity – The road to the country’s 2035 Vision to become an inclusive, green, middle- income country. The document highlights key strategies for growth and human development. •
  7. 7. Strategy for Youth Employment
  8. 8. Skills Training Education Vocational Training Access toward Micro Finance and Credit Business Development Innovation Creativity
  9. 9. YOUTH EMPLOYMENT INTERVENTIONS The Youth Employment Support Project (YESP ). • The biggest project on youth employment is the WB funded Youth Employment Support Project (YESP). The project aims “to increase access to short-term employment opportunities and improve employability of targeted youth” • YESP is an emergency response to global financial crisis • The project has 3 components: – Cash-for-Work (CfW) to provide short-term employment – implemented by National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) – Skills development to test approaches for improving livelihoods and employability among youth (second chance) • 3 different target groups – rural youth, urban youth with less than secondary education, urban youth with some secondary education • Implemented by NGOs – Institutional support, policy development, and impact evaluation
  10. 10. YESP: Component 1 -CfW Cash for Work: National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) • This component provides short term employment to youths in public works projects. The projects involves rehabilitation and/or improvement of priority infrastructure, including feeder road rehabilitation and maintenance, agriculture, and renewable energy/environmental management. • 251 sub-projects under this component have been implemented and completed, providing temporary employment to about 18,000 (of which 36.4% women) people against the end of project target of 23, 500 beneficiaries (about 77% achievement). Three quarters of sub-projects were roads, and one quarter in the agriculture sector. • 133 sub-projects launched for the third round of CfW. Mentorship and money management support and entrepreneurship skills were provided. A total of 11,515 beneficiaries (cumulative) have benefited from this training.
  11. 11. Impact evaluation finds positive effects on income and economic activity 33.3 35.3 43.8 8.9 44.4 46.3 62.9 33.6 11.1 11.0 19.1 24.7 % of hh members who worked for cash in last 12 mos. % females who worked for cash in last 12 mos. % ages 15-35 who worked for cash in last 12 mos. (%) HH reported any member that set up a new enterprise (past 3 mos.) Control Group CfW Program Difference (p.p) 448.2 602.5 154.3 Total value of cash and in-kind payments in the past month (Leones '000) Difference On average, total value of reported cash and in-kind payments received by household for work increases by 34%
  12. 12. CfW: The Challenges Program duration (50-75 days) too short to provide meaningful transfer to poor households 3 main challenges: Sectoral distribution skewed toward roads, which require high materials costs and have lower female participation Use of contractors to implement left high risk of leakage and limited the communities’ ability to monitor 1 2 3 Extend program duration to provide longer term support to poor households Proposed modifications to address these challenges: Shift program focus toward agricultural and environmental sub-projects Give implementation role to Community Oversight Committees and use mobile phones to deliver payments
  13. 13. Cash for Work Road rehabilitation and cassava/potato farm in Bombali district under the CfW
  14. 14. YESP: Component 2 Skills Development and Employment Support • This component is meant to scale up and test approaches to support 9,000 young individuals and youth groups who either have established businesses or are interested in pursuing business/employment opportunities which will consist of technical training through apprenticeship schemes in the formal and informal sectors, business development support and coaching, and other life skills. • Still in early stages of implementation (Phase 1). Already showing promise, especially as second-chance opportunities for youth who have dropped out of school
  15. 15. YESP: Component 2 1. Urban youth with low levels of education (3,000);  Implemented by Child Fund. 1,200 youths with low levels of education placed for training in 16 TVET institutions in Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Makeni and Koidu. 60% to be gainfully employed (wage or self) by end of project. 2. Urban youth with higher levels of education (3,000);  Implemented by HELP-SL. 1,200 youths with some level of education placed in TVET institutions in the urban centres of Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Makeni, and Koidu. 60% to be gainfully employed (wage or self) by end of project. 3. Rural youth (3,000)  Implemented by PaRD-SL. 1,200 rural youths undergoing training in rice milling, cassava and oil palm processing and then formed into cooperatives in eight districts (Port Loko, Kambia, Koinadugu, Tonkolili, Moyamba, Pujehun, Bonthe and Kailahun). 60% to be gainfully employed (wage or self) by end of project
  16. 16. Skills Development Photos •
  17. 17. Skills Development: The Challenges • There is an overwhelming demand for the skills training by youth. • High expectations for the stipend provided and post- training support • Some youth who selected skills that were not identified as marketable in the market surveys conducted refused to accept the other recommended skills • Some female mothers come to the training with their little children and this causes distraction during the training (no provision) • High cost of providing start up kits to groups of youth who have passed • Insufficient outlets for on-the-job training placements
  18. 18. Component 3—Institutional Support, Policy Development, and Impact Evaluation This component consist of two sub-components. • Institutional Support and Policy Development provide financial and technical support to help the Government of Sierra Leone develop policy responses through analytical work on labour markets, skills certification, monitoring and evaluation of existing programs and setting up of systems to assist in the identification and follow-up of beneficiaries. • Impact Evaluation, will support impact evaluation of activities under the first two components.
  19. 19. District Youth Councils Established Koinadugu Kenema Moyamba Port Loko Tonkolili Western Urban
  20. 20. Other Youth Employment Initiatives 1. Youth Employment and Empowerment Programme (YEEP) (UNDP and National Youth Commission) a) Career Advisory and Placement Services (CAPS) centres: CAPS is a comprehensive service offered by Njala University, University of Sierra Leone and Northern and Eastern Polytechnics to facilitate: • Increase employment prospects of university graduates and alumni; • Improve pathways from universities to employers; • Decrease saturation of graduates in no/low growth jobs. CAPS promote constructive relationships between these institutions and the employers. b) Business Development Services (BDS) Centres for Youth The centres are “one-stop shop” providing real life examples of BDS support services in the following areas: • Business information and facilitation: market opportunities • Business skills training: management training • Financial services: Access to credit
  21. 21. Other Youth Employment Initiatives C) Graduate Internship Programme (GIP) • The Graduate Internship Programme (GIP) is an initiative of the National Youth Commission promoting work experience and employment opportunities for young tertiary level graduates in Sierra Leone supported by UNDP under the YEEP • Implemented through Restless Development - Professional internship model and placed interns in private, public and non-governmental institutions throughout Sierra Leone; • The GIP is a pilot for the proposed National Youth Service and an employment facilitation programme for tertiary graduates The duration of the placement is 3 months.
  22. 22. Other Youth Employment Initiatives • Youth Employment Programme by GIZ  Targeting both urban and rural youths in three districts and using public private partnership approach in the cocoa and coffee industry • Smallholder Commercialization Programme (SCP) – Agriculture Business Centres (ABCs). (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS)  Major integrated rural development program supported by the World Bank and other partners. The program support young people engaged in the agric sector to increase their skills and productivity • Volunteer Peer Educators: By Restless Development with support of DFID, recruits, train and place young people from senior secondary schools, polytechnics, TEC/VOC institutions and teacher training colleges in all 12 provincial districts for a period of nine months. Gives beneficiaries an opportunity to live and work in regions different from their region of origin. Also provide opportunity to have work experience. • Quick Impact Employment Creation for Youth through Labour Based Public Works – ILO create productive employment opportunities for youth in Bombali/Moyamba • Strengthening the Agro‐Industrial Growth Centres for Income Generation and Youth Employment ‐ UNIDO - provide skills training as well as entrepreneurial support to young people in agro-processing and help address the need for transformation of agricultural produce into value added products both for consumption and marketing (Growth Centres) • Youth business groups in agri-business; COOPI. Adding value to agriculture products
  23. 23. Some Lessons Learned Lessons Learnt: Public Works • Sectoral distribution skewed toward roads, which require high materials costs and have lower female participation • Use of contractors to implement left high risk of leakage and limited the communities’ ability to monitor • Lack of adequate and accurate data on beneficiaries contributed to inclusion and exclusion errors in the selection of participants in some of the projects. • Difficulty in reaching certain remote communities was a challenge in some instances. • Inadequate funding meant that large numbers of potential beneficiaries were omitted. • Project cycles were too short Lessons Learned regarding the projects: Enterprise Development • Projects need to link youth into a network • Projects have to play a facilitating role between the youth and the business idea and play the interlocutor role (WFP and Youth Farmers) • Most projects are more effective where there is a good social organization, normally in the form of preexisting natural groups • Life skills is an essential component • There must be at least 6 months of mentoring to enable the enterprise to get established • Not all implementing agencies (mostly NGOs) have the necessary technical background to undertake the necessary roles. They do not have the business acumen and often are biased to social service provision.
  24. 24. Some Lessons Learned Lessons learned from agriculture-based interventions for youth: • Projects in rural areas have to be part of the decentralization process and the strengthening of local state structures and institutions. They have to be designed with the objective of economic, political and social empowerment of youth in mind • Projects that specialize in certain activities and set clear priority areas for interventions are more likely to succeed. • Land acquisition is not a major challenge for youth engagement in agriculture in the rural areas General Lessons • There is need to encourage private sector development to create jobs for youth; • More partnerships and collaboration are needed in creating the enabling environment for young people; • The need to integrate sound employment policies/strategies for youth in all development programmes and MDAs; • More resources are needed for youth employment programming; • The curriculum of training institutions should be reviewed to target job market demands; • Promotion of National Youth service in the form of apprenticeship, peer educators, mentoring and formulating internship policy will build the capacity of youths. • Most youth employment projects, including the YESP, targets only the vulnerable. Graduate Unemployment is an emerging challenge in Sierra Leone
  25. 25. THANK YOU Electronics Repairs Motorbike Repairs ICT Weaving Mobile Phone Cards Cosmetics