Youth and Skills Development

For more than 25 years, NORRAG has been informing, challenging and influencing national and international policy debates concerning Vocational Skills Development (VSD). In 1996, NORRAG launched the Working Group for International Cooperation in Skills Development with the support of the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO). This revived the policy debates after a decade on the sidelines. VSD is making a comeback on the national and international development agendas, including in the Agenda 2030.


Image Source: Barefoot College

NORRAG’s thematic cluster focuses in particular on the link between skills development, youth unemployment and social integration, and sees the relation between education (basic, formal and non-formal) and VSD as a continuum, since the quality of VSD is dependent on the quality of prior education. An added focus is on second-chance education, that is, on those youth that either never enrolled or dropped out from formal schooling. One of the great barriers for never-enrollment or dropout youth is the language of instruction in schools. As a result, NORRAG pays special attention to bilingual education and community schools.

The thematic cluster covers in particular the following sub-themes:

  • Policies and practices in the global South/East
  • Second-chance education
  • Bilingual and multilingual education
  • Skills development for the marginalized
  • Continuum between basic education, VSD, work and employment

For information about related activities and knowledge products, see our resources.

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