Validation workshop of the Hidden Employment Opportunity Mapping Strategy Guide
The project “Linking Employers and Schools to Improve Career Development” is implemented by DOT Rwanda and supported in the frame of the YouMatch Open Innovation fund for Employment Services (OIFES). Within the project, DOT Rwanda based on its proven peer-to-peer model establishes an Integrated Career Development Center (ICDC) that provides sustainable career services to students who in turn reach out to their peers and surrounding women and youth. The Peer-to-Peer coaches in ICDCs are trained to discover and profile hidden opportunities, deliver training and coaching on employment readiness, social innovations, opportunity mapping and coaching skills. Within this framework, DOT Rwanda developed a strategy document that would guide student volunteers in carrying out that exercise of mapping and profiling local hidden employment opportunities. That strategy guide was validated during the workshop that took place in Kigali, on 22 January 2018, at Beauséjour Hotel. The developed strategy will guide career development centers in the two higher learning institutions, UR-CAVM and IPRC West, to explore the hidden employment opportunities that might be available in the surrounding environment of the two colleges. Furthermore, the guide provides information and tipps on how to profile and publish the identified opportunities. In addition, through using that strategy, the student volunteers will be equipped with systematic skills and experience on hidden employment opportunity mapping tools and processes which they will use to coach their peers.
During the workshop, six steps of the strategy to be followed for exploring the hidden employment opportunities were presented to the participants and trough plenary and group discussion, the participants provided their views on the strategy. The six steps can be summarized as follows:
1) Getting Started with Hidden Opportunities Mapping
2) Identifying High Growth Sectors
3) Identifying Potential Markets
4) Mapping Value Chains for High Potential Markets
5) Mapping Hidden Opportunities for Work Experience, Jobs, and Business Startups
6) Profiling Hidden Opportunities
The workshop participants appreciated the document and validated it ,subject to changes that need to be incorporated in the document before its usage. For instance, it was recommended to embed in each step of the strategy a clear implementation framework especially on how students will be able to identify the right informants as well as required tools and methodology for each step.
As next step, the recommended adjustment are to be taken up in the strategy guide. Along with the exercise of employment opportunity mapping, the development of a platform to store those identified opportunities is to be finalized in February and first identified opportunities would immediately be fed into the platform.
As key project activities ahead, it is planned to conduct an awareness campaign with potential employers with the aim of motivating those employers to take a part in the career day events that are planned to take place on 28th February in UR-CAVM and on 1st March in IPRC west. The career day events are meant to bring employers and students together to exchange on available employment opportunities for the students of the two colleges, establish a network and interaction with students as well as formalize a mutual partnership with career centers.
The career day events will be followed by a lesson learnt sharing event that is planned to take place in Kigali in March 2018 where members of working group “Engaging Employers” of the YouMatch network as well DOT regional staff would be invited to attend for knowledge sharing, further partnership as well as project scaling up.