Improving skills and productivity of disadvantaged youth

Employment Working Paper No. 7

The main problem examined in this paper is the insufficiency of formal education and training systems to reach substantial majorities of young people and prepare them for productive employment. There is therefore an urgent need for alternative, proactive approaches to education and skills development for disadvantaged youth.

This paper focuses attention on the connection between skills development and early labour market success for young people and their ability to realize their long-term potential for productive and gainful work. One of the key findings from this review is that effective policies and programmes address specific sources of disadvantage. In some cases, this has required comprehensive rather than narrowly-targeted programmes in order to respond to the multiple and inter-linked sources of disadvantage.