A capacity building seminar for those involved in the priority setting and design, delivery and evaluation of youth policies
26-28 October 2009, Trento, Italy
Organised by the OECD LEED Trento Centre
Background / The Seminar / Participants' Profile / Material / Contact Details
Ensuring a smooth and quick transition from education to employment and fighting education drop-out trends are key objectives of youth policies across OECD countries. The current economic downturn is once more reinforcing the need for governments to intervene in making labour markets more accessible for the young. In the EU-27 countries, four out of every ten unemployed belong to the age group 16-29-years-old, and in the OECD area around 12 percent of this age group are neither in employment, nor in education or training. Moreover, many qualifications attained at school and university do not meet the requirements of businesses, who today have to survive, compete and grow in globalised and knowledge driven economies.
The to-do-list of governments is long. But, there is growing evidence that those in charge of setting priorities and translating them into effective initiatives are gaining from partnering with employment, and training services, schools and higher education institutions, community based and voluntary organisations, the private business sector, and, increasingly also beneficiaries. Across OECD countries such partnerships have been active in advancing evidence-based decision making and the effective delivery of policies to prevent the economic downturn producing a ‘lost generation’ of youth to the labour market.
Whereas some are more involved in the delivery of policies, and others seek to also influence priorities, targets and the ways of delivery, all share the same aims: to increase the effectiveness of policies to get the young into jobs, in terms of output and outcome achievement, and to improve local governance.
Much can be learned from an international exchange regarding the rationale behind partnership working, successful techniques, the results achieved, and how the pitfalls and barriers encountered have been addressed. This is what the OECD LEED Trento Centre for Local Development sought to stimulate with a dedicated capacity building seminar on “Getting the young into jobs: the role of partnerships”. The seminar was part of a series of capacity building activities organised within the within the framework of the OECD LEED Forum on Partnerships and Local Governance.
The 2.5-day programme was structured around a mix of presentations by invited experts and OECD staff followed by discussion and group work around case studies developed by participants prior to the seminar. A speed networking session also offered participants opportunities to engage in depth-interviews with people behind good practices.
The seminar was addressed to those already working in partnerships on youth policies, or in the process of establishing a partnership in one of the following areas:
Promoting entrepreneurship. Teaching youth with a business idea how to set up and run their own venture, and making access to finance easier;
Youth skills initiatives. Encouraging and assisting firms to train, hire and retain more low skilled youth, and tailoring skills-upgrading services to both the needs of businesses and the profile of unemployed youth;
Integrating youth with accumulated disadvantages. Enhancing long-term labour market integration of school drop outs, young and single parents, offenders, migrant or minority backgrounds, rural and remote dwellers, etc.
The seminar built the knowledge and know-how of participants on:
Why do local partnerships get involved in youth policies - rationale, top-down, bottom-up stimuli, etc.
How do local partnerships get involved in priority setting, policy/programme design, delivery and evaluation - forms of involvement; techniques, etc., and how pitfalls and barriers encountered have been addressed.
What are the results of local partnership involvement in terms of policy/programme effectiveness (outputs and outcome achievement), and the fluidity of the policy cycle, that is, moving from priority setting to policy/programme design, from design to implementation, from implementation to evaluation, and ensuring the feed-back of evaluation results into the other policy cycle phases.
Partnership co-ordinators, representatives of non-for-profit organisations actively involved in youth policies, employment services and training organisations, local and regional governments, national ministries and government agencies, business associations, and higher education institutions.
For further information on the seminar, please contact Andrea-Rosalinde Hofer.
Activities of the Forum on Partnerships and local Governance