A key barrier to the expansion of Georgia’s economy is the lack of an appropriately skilled workforce, resulting in high un- and under-employment. As of early 2021, nearly 30% of Georgia’s young people were neither employed, in education, nor in training. To close the skills mismatch that is preventing Georgian graduates from finding employment, and holding businesses back from recruiting the workers they need, USAID, in its support for Georgia’s transition to a modern economy that generates employment opportunities countrywide, has begun to partner with the private sector to drive sustainable investment in skills development, launching the Industry-Led Skills Development Program.
The new five-year program will create a pipeline between skills training and high-value employment opportunities, reducing unemployment and catalyzing sustainable economic growth. The program is implemented by International Executive Service Corps (IESC) and will support professionals to obtain skills identified as necessary for economic growth by the private sector. Working with private sector partners, the program will co-invest and co-establish training programs designed to lead directly to employment opportunities.
USAID/Georgia Mission Director Peter Wiebler spoke at the launch event, remarking that USAID “will transform how we work with businesses and industry groups, partnering to establish new programs that connect Georgian workers with today and tomorrow’s job opportunities, and Georgia’s businesses with the highly-skilled candidates they need.”
The Industry-Led Skills Development Program aims to train roughly 5,000 individuals, incentivize 30 businesses to develop long-term partnerships with training providers, mobilize $7 million in cost-share from the private sector, and ensure that at least 35% of trainees come from rural areas and/or ethnic minority communities, and at least 45% are women.
KEY PROGRAM ACTIVITIES
• Incentivize employers, business associations, industry groups, and other private sector bodies to collaborate with skills training providers;
• Establish training programs in partnership with the private sector that target fields with high growth potential;
• Support the adoption of international standards of quality into domestic training programs by assisting Georgian training providers to establish partnerships with international certification bodies and skills providers;
• Increase the employability and incomes of un- and under-employed members of society, especially in underserved rural areas.
Georgia’s dynamic economic growth requires a workforce with the skills to succeed in the modern economy. The USAID’s Industry-Led Skills Development Program will create pathways between skills training and high-value employment opportunities.
“Working hand-in-hand with the private sector, we will help create training programs that prepare students, professionals, and jobseekers for employment in Georgia’s emerging industries,” USAID reps noted.
By Team GT