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The Rockefeller Foundation Launches Demand-Driven Training Toolkit to Improve Youth Employability

Johannesburg – 19 October 2017 – Since the launch of its Digital Jobs Africa Initiative in 2013 at the World Economic Forum, the Rockefeller Foundation has worked extensively to mobilize sustainable job opportunities and skills training for youth in Africa.  With an investment of USD100m, the Initiative has had a significant impact with over 150,000 disadvantaged youth trained and more than 55,000 placed in ICT enabled jobs.

Today the Foundation, together with Making Cents International, launched the Demand-Driven Training toolkit, whose main aim is to enhance disadvantaged youth skills to make them more employable.

“The Rockefeller Foundation has been working with partners to provide demand-driven skills training that prepare youth for digital jobs across multiple sectors,” said Mamadou Biteye, the Rockefeller Foundation Managing Director for the Africa Regional Office. “This toolkit is designed to respond to the gap between the skills that youth acquire through formal education systems, and those skills required by employers. So it will be of critical use to governments, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, Universities, youth training organizations focusing on skills development, as well as donor and development partners.”

The DDT tool was developed by Making Cents International with support from the Rockefeller Foundation and is designed to help workforce training providers, education and training institutions and employers address the ongoing global mismatch between disadvantaged youth skills and employer needs. It was developed with input from leading South African and global education and training institutions, and private sector companies. It is a resource that offers a practical approach to better align education and training to employer needs. Dr. Christy Olenik from Making Cents International said, “This Toolkit is an important step in facilitating a strong relationship between the education supply and demand sides in South Africa to promote more and better employment opportunities for youth.”

More than 75 government, private sector, and educational institution stakeholders gathered for the workshop and reception.  A key focus of the proceedings was to familiarise workshop participants with the content of the DDT Toolkit which covers:

  • Understanding Labour Market Information
  • Partnering with Employers and Others
  • Screening, Assessing and Profiling
  • Developing Soft Skills
  • Mentoring Youth
  • Implementing Work-based Learning
  • Monitoring and Evaluating DDT Programmes

A number of local organisations who already provide demand-driven youth skills training and related interventions presented examples of their own work in youth employment and shared their progress to date. They include Careerbox, Harambee, Mentec, and YouthBuild South Africa as well as the National Business Initiative.  Others, such as Mentec, Harambee, and BP Southern Africa Education Foundation, shared testimonials on the positive social and economic impact of work readiness.

Mamadou Biteye handed over the Toolkit to Ms Vuyokazi Mafilika, Director of Student Development & Support in the Department of Higher Education & Training, marking the start of an 18 month project supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and IQ Business Pty (Ltd) to provide technical support for the adoption and scaling of the Toolkit in South Africa, with a specific emphasis on supporting public universities and public TVET colleges. This will also include promotion and awareness raising activities as well as in-depth technical support to Toolkit users and impact evaluation of the resource to further refine the Toolkit at a global level.

The Toolkit can be downloaded for free from and anyone wishing to support or benefit from the ongoing work in South Africa can submit their contact details to IQ Business in a response form here:


Media Contacts:

Palesa Motanyane PaléMota +27 (0) 78 197 2335  

Achieng’ Otieno, Communications Officer, the Rockefeller Foundation Africa Regional Officer,, +254 704 848792.

Stephanie Bührer IQ Business Pty (Ltd)

About the Rockefeller Foundation

For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot – or will not. For more information, please visit

About Making Cents International

Making Cents International envisions thriving economies where all individuals fulfill their potential to work, innovate, enrich their communities, and profit from the global marketplace.

Making Cents International advances the social and economic well-being of youth and adults globally. Our capacity-building products and services enable positive youth development and adult participation in profitable markets. We employ our collaborative monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning services to understand project results; design innovative products and strategies; and advance the youth development and economic opportunity fields.

About IQ Business

IQ Business is the leading independent management consulting firm in South Africa, helping clients overcome their business challenges and achieve better results. Since 1998, we have been enabling banks, insurance companies, retailers and others to take their products to market faster, improve customer satisfaction, upskill teams, eliminate waste and strengthen governance and compliance. Drawing on our core strengths – consulting, research and contracting – we solve clients’ problems by providing innovative, faster and more cost-effective services and solutions, backed by teams with real expertise and experience. Although proudly South African, our perspective is international through the experience of our people, our clients, and our business partners. IQ Business is privately owned and fully empowered with a level 4 B-BBEE certification. For more information, visit or contact +27 (0)11 259 4000.