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Impact Sourcing: Transformational Change through Public-Private Cooperation

Shea Gopaul — Executive Director, Global Apprenticeship Network

GAN youth

As Davos is underway, and we gather to discuss what is meant by “Responsive and Responsible Leadership”, we reflect on what our respective organizations are doing on action-oriented solutions. The Davos platform is an opportunity to challenge each other and our own institutions on how we might be able to maximize impact for the coming year. What is inspiring about Davos is that a range of leaders from different sectors take time out to focus on our biggest challenges.  One of those is addressing economic inequality and unemployment where public and private cooperation is necessary.  Companies are deeply interested in solutions that help them to be positive actors for change in society while also realizing strategic and financial objectives. This is the common denominator that binds our two initiatives together, the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) and the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition (GISC) funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, which work with committed companies responding to economic inequality and unemployment. Both platforms are powerful examples of public-private cooperation that leverage business leaders to commit to inclusive employment practices and provide training opportunities to poor and vulnerable people.

Contributing to meaningful employment

While the GISC is about companies intentionally promoting “impact sourcing as a hiring strategy to combat youth unemployment and support inclusive economic development, providing tangible benefits to business,”[1] the GAN’s overall goal is to “encourage and link business initiatives on skills and employment opportunities for youth – notably through apprenticeships.”[2] So what exactly is impact sourcing? “Impact sourcing in an inclusive employment practice through which companies in global supply chains – like most top multinationals today – intentionally hire and provide career development opportunities to people who otherwise would have limited prospects for formal employment.”

And why do GAN Members insist that apprenticeship is the key to good jobs, high incomes and a better ROI for companies?  GAN Members would simply point out that the system just works. Looking at countries where apprenticeship is diversified into many sectors and forms part of the country’s tradition, youth unemployment rates are much lower.

Inclusive hiring practices and apprenticeships are two pragmatic ways that leaders can contribute to reinvigorating the systems change necessary to ensure jobs for people and skills for business.

Transformational change through public-private cooperation

The main message from both initiatives is that it should not be only those with a college degree who are destined for success. Talent should come from all backgrounds, regardless of socioeconomic status and wealth. Inclusive hiring practices and apprenticeships are two pragmatic ways that leaders can contribute to reinvigorating the systems change necessary to ensure jobs for people and skills for business.

Platforms such as the GAN and GISC, who host some of the world’s largest multinational corporations, are goldmines of industry know-how, with expansive geographic reach. They can, therefore, yield a considerable amount of influence on hiring practices, knowledge diffusion, and provision of decent jobs and skills to the world’s most vulnerable people. Public-private partnerships have recently made headway as we are more aware of the private sector’s power in tackling social issues. As an example, “the private sector is the main driver in the fight against poverty, providing 9 in 10 jobs.” [UNIDO IFC: Jobs Study, 2013]

Join our purpose!

Companies who join coalitions such as the GAN and GISC realize the potential of untapped talent and are willing to train, mould, and guide a diverse array of talent. By working together and joining a coalition, whether it be the GAN or the GISC, the results can be transformational. Learn more about the GAN and the GISC.



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