A photo of a youth representing Work Ready Now (WRN)

Challenge

Around the world, many young people are unable to find jobs or start their own businesses due to a mismatch between the skills they learned in school and the skills demanded in the workplace. Employers have jobs to fill and are looking for young people who have experience and can adapt to the jobs of tomorrow. How can we prepare youth for these opportunities?

EDC’s Work Ready Now (WRN) delivers effective work readiness preparation to youth, giving them access to a second chance at economic success. WRN is implemented with youth with varying levels of education, ranging from out-of-school youth to school-based programs at technical schools to all levels of general education, from middle school to university.

Key Activities

WRN is a customizable, standards-based work readiness curriculum that emphasizes the skills needed in today’s workplace. Specifically, WRN:

  • Provides flexibility and localization: The modular format gives projects flexibility, and WRN is customized for local environments with local businesses and youth-serving partners.
  • Includes eight foundational modules (e.g., personal development, communication, job seeking, and workplace behaviors) as well as complementary modules (e.g., civic engagement, digital literacy, health, and resilience).
  • Integrates work-based learning to make learning come alive outside the classroom and to expose youth to real workplaces and employers.
  • Is a scalable solution that can reach hundreds of thousands of youth when incorporated into national workforce development systems.
  • Is sustainable: EDC builds the capacity of local organizations and government agencies so they can continue to connect with local industries and deliver WRN after a project ends.
  • Includes soft skills assessment tools that allow projects to choose the best fit to assess the youth skills’ gains.

Impact

  • WRN has been implemented in 26 countries and in 19 languages, reaching 500,000 youth.
  • 5 countries have scaled WRN nationally in their education systems.
  • 97% of Rwandan graduates met or exceeded employer expectations.
  • 65% of youth in Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia continued onto employment, self-employment, or further education. Of those that found employment, 66% were hired full time.

Learn More

PROJECT DIRECTOR
DURATION
2007–Present
FUNDED BY
U.S. Agency for International Development, JP Morgan, Mastercard Foundation