This Evidence and Learning Note presents lessons learned from an innovative labour supply and skills development model currently being implemented in Ethiopia by Enterprise Partners (EP), which focuses on garments, leather, horticulture and access to finance. Within EP, Hawassa Industrial Park Sourcing and Training Employees in the Region (HIPSTER) seeks to mobilise and train large numbers of workers using an innovative public-private partnership. Drawing on the lessons learned from the HIPSTER model, the following recommendations were made for broader programming elsewhere:
Skills development should be considered as one supporting function among many in the wider context of the development of dynamic and competitive labour markets.
The problem of underinvestment in skills development by firms and individuals can be approached using public-private partnership models whereby service offerings are tailored to the needs of industry, enabling the development of cost-sharing arrangements.
Skills for competitiveness programming should be nimble, innovative and responsive to context-specific feedback from industry.
The importance of soft skills should not be underestimated, particularly during the early stages of industrialisation where the workforce is undergoing a challenging rural-urban shift.
Further work is required to design and evaluate sustainable funding models that secure long-term willingness to pay of both public and private actors.
This research is part of the Business Environment for Economic Development programme.
Hilton T, Skills for Competitiveness – Synthesis of Evidence Report, Business Environment Reform Facility