YouMatch – First Practitioners’ Dialogue on Employment Services for Youth in Africa, Kigali
„There is no doubt that employment services such as job orientation, preparation and matching are increasingly gaining importance as effective instruments to promote youth employment“.
With these words the Rwandan Minister of Public Service and Labour, Judith Uwizeye, emphasised the importance of YouMatch on the occasion of the official launch of the network on 29 April 2016 in Kigali. Beforehand the participants presented the objectives and working plans of the six working groups that have been established during the YouMatch – First Regional Practitioners‘ Dialogue on Employment Services for Youth in Africa. The working groups address challenges from different stakeholder perspectives.
The two-day dialogue event gave 43 participants from eight African countries (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) and representatives of the East African Community the opportunity to exchange for the first time on employment services for youth.
With the impressions of the first round of discussions the participants visited the JobNet, a fair for employers and young jobseekers alike that is annually organised by the Kigali Employment Service Centre (KESC), a partner of the bilateral GIZ-implemented programme on Economy and Employment Promotion (Eco-Emploi). This connection of job orientation, preparation and matching – the three main categories of YouMatch- in one event inspired the participants of the Practitioners‘ Dialogue immediately.
On the second day of the Practitioners‘ Dialogue the exchange of experiences continued in a market place, presenting 29 good practices from our practitioners. The subsequent discussions led to the formulation of the central challenges and the constitution of the six working groups:
- How can we ensure a high quality of data or information of applicant in order to convince employers to have reliable data anytime?
- How can we manage the expectations of employers and jobseekers in order to avoid misplacement and keep the trust level established?
- How do we attract employers to provide job opportunities for youth (build interest and trust)?
- How can we mainstream life skills and career guidance in TVET and educational curriculum?
- How can we involve more companies in job shadowing in order for youth to be better prepare for the labour market?
- What are innovative ways to harmonize data collection tools/mechanisms in order to improve qualitative job matching (online process and manual process)?
With regard to many newly acquired insights and especially also to the cooperation in the YouMatch-Network one participant got to the heart of her impressions on the last day of the event: “YouMatch just brings everything together […]. We are going to continue the energy and the discussions as soon as we get to Botswana and we cannot wait to keep on exchanging with each other on the projects we are doing in our respective countries”.