Engaging the private sector in skills development

This report aims to provide an understanding of the role of the private sector in skills development, both as employers and as skills providers. The objective was to find potential opportunities to support private sector integration in all aspects of skills development, particularly in low-income contexts. In addition, the research explored the twin issues of access to finance for skills development stakeholders; and financial support from the private sector for skills development programmes. The volume of recent work focused on skills is considerable. It is clear that a radical shift in skills development is both needed and is beginning to take place. To succeed this shift must:

  • Respond to demand for training opportunities with greater private sector involvement,
  • Improve co-ordination efforts between stakeholders
  • Make effective use of new technology and the media,

Private sector interventions generally need facilitation either by a government, donor or NGO. Employers are more likely to engage in skills development at any level, if the benefits of doing so are apparent, the business environment is favourable and there is minimal bureaucracy attached. Their engagement is being proactive.

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