Too often, there is a mismatch between the workforce needs of local companies and the skills held by available workers. This job training gap is often a significant factor in the growing youth unemployment crisis worldwide. What’s the solution? How do you tailor a job training program to make sure it is aligned with local business demands? Why is understanding a region’s economic trends and competitive challenges so important? What steps need to be taken to evaluate labor market conditions and opportunities, and who are the primary clients in such a process?

To help youth-serving organizations answer these and other critical questions, the International Youth Foundation (IYF) is publishing Ensuring Demand-Driven Youth Training Programs: How to Conduct an Effective Labor Market Assessment. Based on best practices drawn from IYF’s global programs to prepare young people for success in the workplace, this guide reviews the rationale and purpose for understanding the employment dynamics of the local economy, and offers a proven methodology for carrying out a labor market assessment. It also promotes a “dual client” approach that takes into consideration the specific assets and needs of local youth as well as the businesses that will hire them. Organizations are also encouraged to consider the potential benefits of including youth in the design, implementation, and interpretation of a labor market assessment.

Ensuring Demand-Driven Youth Training Programs: How to Conduct an Effective Labor Market Assessment includes illustrative models, case studies, and examples of tools recommended in the text.