Apprenticeship programmes hold the promise of smoothing the school-to-work transition through connecting unemployed youth with jobs, adding critical work experience to CVs, and building both soft skills and technical skills that can only be learned from practice. Particularly in contexts where technical or vocational training is weak, apprenticeships can be a vital step in preparing youth for employment. By hardwiring directly into private enterprise, such schemes are designed to build skills that are in demand in the labour market.

This Practice Paper describes Mercy Corps’ Prospects apprenticeship programme in Liberia which has already facilitated over 1,000 apprenticeships in three urban centres of Liberia, with around half being offered jobs. The first part describes the methodology of the programme, taking the reader through the programme’s main sequential components and providing guidance for replication. The second section highlights some of the key learnings and refinements that have taken place over the last few years, and which have shaped success of the current programme. The purpose of the paper is both to document the methodology of a successful market-driven apprenticeship programme and to highlight its most important conceptual considerations, drawing attention to the process of adaptation that was crucial in the coalescing of the existing model.

Read the paper here.

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