West Africa Vocational Education (WAVE)

West Africa Vocational Education (WAVE)

Shortlisted Candidate in EMEA

Skills over schools!

WAVE tackles West Africa’s youth unemployment crisis by identifying, training and connecting youth to entry-level service sector jobs. By turning under-appreciated talent into reliable human capital, WAVE creates a more inclusive labor market, putting Africa on the right track to a thriving economy.

The Problem

In West Africa, 50 million youth are unemployed or under-employed. At the root of the problem is the region’s broken education-to-employment system which focuses on academic credentials over skills, leaving youth ill-equipped even when they are able to access education. With decades of useful life left in them but lacking the skills to build a brighter future, these young people end up as demographic liabilities instead of demographic dividends

The Solution

WAVE will level the playing field for young people by providing alternatives for employers to hire more inclusively based on attitude and skills/competencies, and not educational pedigree.

WAVE has developed a replicable and scalable model for training young people in employability skills and connecting them to entry-level jobs based on their skills/competencies rather than their credentials, work experience or networks. 

We will build a network of replicators to deliver our academy-in-a-box (accelerated skills training) methodology to screen, train and connect youth to jobs while promoting competency-based hiring among employers, ultimately rewiring the education-to-employment system to focus on "skills over schools".