Summary of the Market Assessment Toolkit for Vocational Training Providers and Youth

1. Introduction
The Market Assessment Toolkit for Vocational Training Providers and Youth was prepared by Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs on behalf of the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children. The document is available at http://www.womenscommission.org/pdf/ug_ysl_toolkit.pdf. This document aims to summarise the key elements of the Toolkit for consideration by members of the Koliyonkulam Village’s Evening School project, which is being facilitated via www.nabuur.com.

2.

Purpose of the toolkit
The Toolkit aims to help: Understand the market; Identify possible opportunities for employment; and Identify the skills and interests of students. This information can guide decisions on what vocational training the evening school should offer.

3.

How to use the toolkit
The toolkit is very comprehensive. It initially looks overwhelming. However, each individual tool is very clear, providing a step-by-step process to gather important information. Here are a few ideas about ways the toolkit could be used: Make the toolkit part of the curriculum. The toolkit could be used essentially as part of the curriculum for the classes for the first month or so. All the research activities could be undertaken as classroom exercises where the students learn about aspects of market analysis, business planning and career planning. This would require a local teacher or facilitator to read and become familiar with the full the toolkit and plan lessons based on each section. Perhaps Nabuur Neighbours could assist with lesson planning and providing additional materials. Complete a subset of the toolkit. Another option would be to choose one or two key market assessment tools to complete as an input to the task of determining the types of vocational training to be offered. I would suggest starting with the “Market Observation” and “Consumer” tools. This would require conducting initial desk-based research, market observation activities and interviews or workshops with local contacts. Once the initial tools have been completed, you can think about completing the other tools. Brainstorm. A more limited, but possibly quicker option would be simply to take the key research questions (see Table 1 below), as well as the sub-questions from each market assessment tool and brainstorm the answers with a local group. The summary charts at the end of each tool could be used to facilitate the brainstorming session. Again, the results could be used as an input to deciding on the types of vocational training to be offered.

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Depending on the selected option, further work will be required to extract and tailor relevant sections of the toolkit. This work would be facilitated via Nabuur.

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Summary of the Market Assessment Toolkit for Vocational Training Providers

4.

Summary of the toolkit
The toolkit has three sections: Market Assessment Toolkit for Vocational Training Providers - provides an understanding of market conditions and the sources of potential employment growth within the community and surrounding areas. Decision Charts - helps translate information from the market assessment into decisions about vocational training . Market Interaction Toolkit for Youth - helps youth get involved in choosing a vocation.

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4.1. Market Assessment Toolkit for Vocational Training Providers
The aim of the Provider toolkit is to answer the following key questions: What vocational training and complementary courses should be offered? What local businesses and national associations can you link with to provide on-thejob training, career guidance and potential employment opportunities for graduates? What financial service providers can you link with to help graduates engage in employment or self-employment?

Ten market assessment tools are provided. Each tool aims to gather information about different aspects of the market.
Market Assessmen t Tool Market Observation Consumers Key research question Information Gathered Summary chart page number Page 30

What does local supply and demand for goods and services show about opportunities for employment or self-employment for vocational training graduates? What does local demand for goods and services show about vocational training graduates’ opportunities for employment or self-employment? What “complementary skills” that vocational training programs can provide do youth need to meet consumer preferences? How can vocational training programs best engage with the government’s current and upcoming contracts for economic recovery and development? How can vocational training programs prepare youth with the skills necessary to be competitive in a particular sector? How can links between vocational training programs and businesses be created to assist graduates in finding employment? What skills and product information do vocational training program participants need to be competitive in a particular sector? How can links with producer and business associations help vocational training programs expand learning opportunities for program participants?

Overview of local economic activity Consumer preferences and needs

Page 34

Government

National and regional development priorities Labour market demand, qualifications and constraints; employment linkages Labour market demand, qualifications and constraints; market information, product information and linkages

Page 41

Local Business

Page 49

National Producer and Business Associations

Page 56

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Summary of the Market Assessment Toolkit for Vocational Training Providers
Market Assessmen t Tool Youth Focus Group Key research question Information Gathered Summary chart page number Page 60, 62

What program components and specific skills have vocational training program participants found most useful and marketable? What is market demand for vocational training among the broader youth market? What courses or trainings are youth most interested in as a means to achieving sustainable livelihoods? What characteristics of your program are unique and which are similar to other programs in the district? What are some of the gaps that your program offerings could fill? How can youth access financial services when graduating from a vocational training program? What economic activities are considered to be profitable by financial service professionals? What are potential areas of cooperation between vocational training programs and microfinance institutions? What donor or non-government organisation’s activities in the coming months and years can directly or indirectly provide employment opportunities for vocational training graduates? What upcoming contracts issued by major companies can directly or indirectly provide employment opportunities for vocational training graduates?

Youth preferences and demands

Vocational training Providers

Share best practices, coordinate and share data collection Market information, financing options and linkages

Page 69

Microfinance Institutions

Page 75

Donors

Future priorities and funding trends Present and future investment, future demand for products, services and support

Page 82

National and Multinational Companies

Page 88

Table 1 –Toolkit Summary (Providers)

4.2. Decision Charts
This section collates all the information gathered through the Market Assessment Toolkit as an aid to decision making.

4.3. Market Interaction Toolkit for Youth
The aim of the Youth toolkit is to educate and engage youth in the process of selecting a vocational track.
Youth Toolkit component Youth SelfAssessment Tool Youth Market Assessment Tool Key research question What aptitudes and interests does each individual youth have that should be taken into account when choosing a vocation to pursue in the vocational training program? What sectors appear most economically viable for youth vocational training participants? What skills, knowledge, character traits and resources are important to succeed in this sector? What are the requirements and benefits of this particular vocation?

Sector-specific Interview

Table 2 –Toolkit Summary (Youth)

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