Enterprise promotion and human resource development in Africa are key in achieving the goals of decent living standards, social and economic integration, personal fulfillment and social development where 60 per cent of unemployed people are youth below the age of 25. With no signs that population growth will slow in the decades to come, it is imperative that Africa leverages the talent and energy of its youth to create higher levels of prosperity and equality and avoid the risks associated with of unemployment such as social instability.
The African Skills Portal for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship (ASPYEE) provides a continental platform on which good practices relevant to creating and promoting employment opportunities for young people and practitioners can be shared.
1.1. Career Advice
Career advice forms part of promoting employment among African youth and is a service intended to assist individuals, of any age and any point throughout their lives, to make educational, training and occupational choices and to manage their careers. It is an important consideration in the implementation of technical vocational education and training (TVET), as it guides learners in their career and employment paths, thereby matching labour supply with market demands.
Entrepreneurship is defined as the capacity and willingness to develop, organise and manage a business venture along with any risks in order to make profit. In this regard, entrepreneurship is an important factor in enabling TVET graduates to actively participate in the mainstream of the economy. Accordingly, due diligence should be paid to building technical and entrepreneurial skills for enterprise development in TVET initiatives.
An internship is a structured and monitored workplace experience gained through exposure and interactions within a real work environment. Internships, often structured as Work-Study Alternation, can be effective vehicles for promoting a work-orientated study programme as it allows the learner to acquire skills related to their chosen trade, within a real life context.
1.4. Volunteering schemes
One of the ways in which young people can be assisted to improve their skills and employment prospects is to offer them opportunities to take up volunteering as part of their formal and informal learning process. This would enable them to discover the value of voluntary services and help foster a sense of community responsibility and active citizenship.
1.5. Exchange opportunities
Exchange opportunities offer broad based benefits for young people and increase their employability. Firstly, international learning and knowledge propels students towards an appreciation and understanding of an array of different cultural and community perspectives. The second benefit is that of self-development and awareness which leads to enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem. Finally, this opportunity increases employability because prospective employers consider favorably experience of prospective employees gained while living other countries outside their native countries.
1.6. Matching services
The phenomenon of “unemployed graduates” is widespread in Africa. In many countries, a large number of graduates from the formal school system, including university graduates, are unemployed, although the economy still has opportunities for skilled workers. This condition is referred to as “Skills Mismatch” and it is defined as the gap between the skills required on the job and those possessed by individuals. It is imperative that the educational and training service provides deliberately bridge the gap between the labour and skills demand, and the learning scope and content that they provide to students.
1.7. Recognition of prior learning
The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process through which formal, non-formal and informal learning are measured, mediated for recognition across different contexts and certified against the requirements for credit, access, inclusion or advancement in the formal education and training system or workplace. The aim is to make it possible to obtain formal recognition for knowledge gained throughout life, such as in workplaces and own reading or experiences. The RPL process also entails providing support to a candidate to ensure that knowledge is discovered and displayed in terms of a relevant qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).