Engaging the private sector in the project design process can be a fruitful partnership for both the project and businesses. Getting feedback from employers and businesses at this stage often takes the form of face-to-face interviews, roundtable discussions, or employer surveys. Interviews or surveys could be conducted as part of an initial labor market assessment in the first phase of a project’s start-up. Employer interviews or surveys would focus on skill needs for job seekers in the sectors in which the private sector is active and key growth sectors on which the project should focus. Bringing the private sector viewpoint in at the design phase also allows a project to identify potential business partners for later project implementation.
Engaging the private sector at the design phase occurs prior to any project implementation. Projects can also bring in private sector feedback during implementation if considering a midcourse shift to focus on new business sectors or to adapt training.
Use contacts with government, donors, or local stakeholders to identify appropriate contact people within businesses who would be the best informants. Develop interview and survey protocols that include focused questions on specific sectors, including identifying skill needs, projected market trends, and existing training programs.
Getting input on the design of a project from local businesses that know the local economy and could serve as potential employers is essential for ensuring a project is driven by market needs.
Whether using interviews or a survey for gathering information from the private sector, the process and questions should be focused and not require too much time for businesses to provide feedback. A large time investment will deter businesses from participating.
Outreach to the private sector in the initial design stage serves as an entry point to introduce the planned project to businesses and potential employers. The project can make initial contacts with which to follow up after project launch for participation in various areas, such as on a business advisory council. Following the survey or interview, a project should follow up with the businesses that participated in order to share the results of the design.
Preparing for Work Guidance Section
This section of the Preparing for Work website is designed specifically to assist program managers in the design of youth livelihoods programming.
EQUIP3 Workforce Development Program Guide
A guide for designing workforce development programs, including ways to involve the private sector.
EQUIP3 Livelihoods Development Program Guide
A guide for designing youth livelihoods programming, produced by EQUIP3.
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