Workshop (*With Breakout Rooms)
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Financing the Skills Gap in a Post-COVID World

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While globally, there is a growing number of skilling programmes providing high-quality pre-employment training for in-demand professions, such opportunities are often out-of-reach for the majority of the urban workforce in low and middle-income countries. While these programmes generate a high return on investment, they also tend to be expensive, and the lack of suitable financing options in the status quo has forced many poor but aspiring learners to remain underskilled and underemployed, further impeding their social mobility. Even before COVID-19, such nations were already struggling with helping its citizens climb up the social ladder and the pandemic has further slowed it down, forcing people back into poverty while pushing up the unemployment rate, especially in low-wage jobs. As countries rebuild new pathways towards employment in a resource-constrained setting, it presents an opportunity to also consider new ways of financing skilling programmes for the poor but aspiring learner.

This session will explore how we can address the dual challenges of an increasing scarcity of resources and the growing skills mismatch using innovative financing mechanisms such as an impact-first version of income sharing agreements. Just like a trampoline, we hope to help the disadvantaged bounce back, and up the social ladder.

Confirmed Panelists

Angela Chen, Eskwelabs

Sikai Chen, Tri-Sector Associates

Patrick Scheurle, ex-BlueOrchard CEO

Supporting Materials

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