Reviews existing literature to examine the ability of market-driven sectoral initiatives to improve employment outcomes for youth that are neither in school nor working.

“The purpose of this paper is to analyze the extent to which sectoral initiatives, which operate on the demand side of the labor market, can play a role in facilitating pathways for OY [opportunity youth] into productive careers” (p.1). The author defines OY as youth between the ages of 16 and 24 that do not have a postsecondary degree and are neither working nor in school. This report reviews the literature focused on workforce development programs that aim to improve employment outcomes for OY. Programs discussed in this report include sectoral initiatives, publicly funded programs with employer engagement components, and programs in the international context. In addition to literature findings, the author provides policy recommendations for sectoral initiatives.

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

The author provides recommendations for enhancing the OY employment outcomes, including: • “Initiatives aimed at engaging disconnected youth or OY need momentum among policymakers and the general public to make progress. Gaining awareness of the scope of the issue and its consequences is an important first step” (p.24). • “Strengthening career and technical education, and in particular, integrating work-based learning opportunities, may make high school more relevant and interesting for at-risk students and may stem disengagement. The intermediaries and workforce development partners in sectoral initiatives should ensure that partnerships include K-12 districts, particularly the career and technical education administrators of those districts, and firms should make an effort to serve on career and technical education advisory committees and offer internships or other work-based learning opportunities” (p.25). • “Because members of the OY population are not engaged in training or education, outreach to these young people may present a challenge. As a consequence, it would seem incumbent upon workforce intermediaries or other workforce development agencies to have the capability to immediately assist any young person who happens to encounter the agency” (p.26). • “Some OY may have entrepreneurial skills that can and should be triggered” (p.26). • Across all the studies reviewed, an overarching lesson is that “adequate planning is a necessity” (p.27). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)