Youth at Work Learning Series: Scaling Up Youth Employment Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

World Bank Group (WBG),
What is it?

YOUTH AT WORK is an initiative launched in late 2019 through a collaboration among the Global Community of Practice on Scaling Development Outcomes, MSI, World Learning, the World Bank, USAID, and the Organization and Workforce Lab (OWL) at Rice University, along with representatives from over two dozen organizations promoting youth employment. The Youth At Work initiative, now joined with the Youth Workforce working group of the Scaling Up Community of Practice, seeks to engage a group of practitioners, youth leaders, policy experts, government officials and strategic thinkers in continuing dialogue and a series of thought-leadership events to share knowledge, best practices, and lessons-learned on scaling up youth employment programs globally. Enriching the discussion in this manner serves to enhance the learning agenda on scaling up youth employment programs globally, ultimately to achieve better youth employment outcomes at scale. This document summarizes the breakout session event and high-level takeaways from 49 session participants.


Fifty of the event participants contributed their views on the strategies most likely to lead to successful scaling of youth workforce programming during the pandemic. Selecting one or more response from multiple options, 62% chose “upskilling initiatives and inclusive internet access” as the most likely to make a difference to youth during this time, while 52% chose “private sector incentives (e.g. tax breaks, subsidies, and loans)”. Others pointed to the potential for public works (cash for work) programs and increasing other social protections. Partnering with large corporations alone was the least-selected response, with only 24% seeing this as likely to be a successful strategy.

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