At the end of September 2018, I attended the Global Youth Economic Opportunity Summit in Washington DC, USA. The summit provides a forum for professionals who prepare young peope to learn, earn and thrive in a changing world of work, to design and develop evidence-based, innovative and scalable youth programmes that enable young people to succeed.
During the summit, we highlighted our work with DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge. Our project in Uganda works with five partners to educate and equip girls with financial, entrepreneurial and soft skills for succeeding in school and future workplaces. The project works with Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to support affordable community schools to access finance and governance skills training, and improve the learning environment and effective management of schools. Teachers are trained and provided with access to resources and networks to share professional experiences and quality teaching methods. Households are supported to access financial services and encouraged to prioritise girls’ wellbeing. Whilst training girls with soft skills builds up their confidences, self-belief and empowers them to stay in school and achieve their potential.
During the summit there was much discussion about the global uncertainty for future youth employment. Key questions about the relevance of current education systems to address this uncertainty were raised and there was consensus that core skills need to be defined and delivered that will enable young people to withstand the uncertain job market - skills such as social emotional learning, transferable skills and work-readiness skills.
The summit showcased the great work being done to provide life-changing opportunites to young people, but highlighted the need to do more.
Charles Wabwire is our Consortium Lead for our DFID funded Girl's Education Challenge Project in Uganda