Students at Ithemba Institute of Technology in South Africa.
Photo: Ylva Sahlstrand/Sida
Today, the number of youth around the world is higher than ever and in some countries that number increases very quickly. If these young people are to find jobs and contribute to their country's development, there is a need for training to build capacity that better matches the needs on the labour market.
Education is not only about giving children the opportunity to go to school. It is also about meeting young people’s and adults’ needs for skills that will enable them to get a job and earn a living; something that heretofore has not been a priority among donors. UNESCO's follow-up report (2012) about the global initiative Education For All showed that one in five young people in the world ** did not complete basic education equivalent to sixth grade, and most of them live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. These young people have difficulties entering the labour market and will have to rely on insecure and poorly paid jobs.
Sida is therefore allocating increasingly more support for vocational trainings, although it is still a relatively small portion of overall education aid. For example, support has been disbursed within Sida’s partner driven cooperation initiative, where Sida in collaboration with business sector, universities and organisations have co-funded vocational trainings in many countries, including South Africa, Iraq and Bolivia. With help of Sida's funding to organisations FAUTAPO and SOS Children's Villages, 10,632 young women and men in Bolivia were able to receive professional training. 80 per cent of them subsequently got jobs. In addition, in Tanzania, Cambodia and other countries, Sida is currently working to strengthen professional training skills and therewith enable more young people to support themselves after finishing their education. It is particularly important to strengthen women's access to education throughout their lifespan.
** Youth between 15 and 24 years old in 123 low and-middle income countries.