Skill Development Programs for Rural Youth

Rural youth are eager to develop into productive individuals and become connected with their communities. But they need good income-generating opportunities to do so.

A survey of 10 – 18 year old out-of-school rural youth showed that they aspired to careers in farming and building and construction trades. CapED is facilitating skills development to fulfill these aspirations and provide young people with livelihoods.

Digital Skills Training

Providing rural youth with access to digital skills training is essential to empowering them in the modern economy. This training can give them the ability to use technology to gain access to new employment opportunities, increase their economic independence, and enhance their quality of life.

However, the digital divide is a significant obstacle to providing this type of training in rural communities. According to a report from the Federal Communications Commission, 39% of Americans live in rural areas, and many have limited or no access to high-speed internet. Developing digital infrastructure and expanding broadband coverage is key to overcoming this divide, ensuring rural youth have the opportunity to acquire digital skills.

Fortunately, there are a number of initiatives designed to address this issue. For example, CHIETA recently launched a network of SMART Skills Centres across rural pockets of the country. These centres provide rural youth with free data and WiFi services, as well as a variety of fourth industrial revolution-related training.

These centres also serve as a community hub, where young people can socialise and participate in a range of entrepreneurship-based programmes. These initiatives are helping to bring new jobs, as well as increased revenue streams, to rural communities.

Other initiatives have been focusing on addressing the gender gap in the digital skills space. UNICEF’s Digital Skills to Careers program, for instance, is a digital skills development initiative that focuses on girls. It teaches participants how to code, which provides them with the skills needed for remote work and for establishing their own businesses. It also enables them to find a freelance job that pays them for their work.

This program has shown how providing rural youth with the opportunity to learn digital skills can empower them in a myriad of ways. By facilitating remote work opportunities, it can reduce the need for them to travel to urban areas in search of employment and help to ensure that all people have equal access to economic opportunity. The global demand for workers with digital skills is expected to continue growing, making it a crucial investment for the future of the world’s economies.

Agriculture Training

For those looking to gain skills in agriculture, there are a variety of opportunities. Some programs include classroom instruction and supervised agricultural experience (SAE). Others may involve hands-on training or mentoring from experienced farmers. Students who wish to pursue careers in this field can also take college courses related to agribusiness, agriculture and food science, and conservation science.

Rural youth are often hesitant to pursue career paths in agriculture due to cultural and social barriers. However, the right education can help them break these barriers and become leaders in their communities. These leaders can then inspire the next generation to follow in their footsteps. Increasing access to agricultural education is essential for developing future generations of farmers.

Investing in digital skills training is another way to empower rural youth to thrive in the modern economy. This training can help them start online businesses, reach a wider market, and create sustainable sources of income. Providing access to digital skills training also helps reduce the need for them to migrate to urban areas in search of employment.

The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) has launched several initiatives to impart agri-based vocational skills training to rural youth. These programs have transformed the lives of many young people and inspired hundreds more to follow in their footsteps. In addition, these programs can provide economic independence to the youth and their families.

Another initiative is the Business Facilitation for Rural Development Project (BFRDP). This program provides grants to help farmers of color and veterans start or expand their agriculture business. This program is a critical source of funding for small and medium-sized farm operators. However, farmers need to be able to meet strict eligibility requirements in order to receive the grant.

The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is a government scheme designed to train and certify youth to secure better livelihoods. This initiative offers a number of benefits, including free training, employment opportunities, and continuous monitoring. The program is open to both educated and unemployed youth. This initiative is supported by the National Skill Development Mission, which aims to prepare India for the upcoming industrial revolution.

Business Management Training

Business management training is a type of vocational training that teaches students how to manage and analyze the operations of businesses. This type of training often includes a course in business law, accounting, and marketing. This program is often offered by vocational schools, universities, or private companies. It can also be completed online. Students who complete this program typically gain a solid foundation in business concepts and practices, and they can use these skills to help their employers grow their organizations and improve their bottom line.

Many rural youth are interested in leaving their rural communities to find jobs in urban centers. This trend is fueled by national development policies that prioritize employment opportunities for the urban population. While this does not necessarily harm the local economy, it can lead to a shortage of skilled workers in rural areas. Vocational training can help combat this trend by introducing new employment opportunities for rural youth.

One example of this is the Malawi Council for the Handicapped’s vocational skills training programme. The program pairs young people with disabilities with master trainers who can teach them a marketable skill such as baking, carpentry, or masonry. The apprentices then work with their mentors to produce goods for sale. This training helps to develop a sense of self-worth and empowers people with disabilities to earn their own livings.

Other vocational training programs are designed to help out-of-school rural youth build entrepreneurial skills and connect with the jobs market. These programs are often run by NGOs, private companies, or government agencies. They usually include hands-on business management training, ongoing mentoring and support, and access to start-up capital.

Opportunity International works to connect out-of-school rural youth with the resources they need to build sustainable, income-generating business ventures. Our technical vocational training programs pair young people with successful entrepreneurs and provide them with on-the-job training and business mentorship. These programs also offer the opportunity to apply for an Opportunity loan, which provides youth with the startup capital they need to succeed. In addition, our Business Acumen and Enterprise Capability Training programs train young people to capitalize on local business and job opportunities.

Health and Safety Training

Health and safety training helps rural workers protect themselves from work-related injuries and illnesses. It also informs them about the hazards they are exposed to and how to avoid them. Training can take place on-the-job, as part of a company’s safety program, or it may be provided through a separate training initiative. Various tools can be used for health and safety training, including simulation technology that recreates workplace situations, such as patient simulation, which provides training for rural healthcare providers.

Agricultural health and safety programs can help prevent injuries among young people who work on farms. In 2014, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimated that approximately 893,000 youth under 20 years of age lived on farms, and 454,000 performed farm work. Agricultural work includes tasks such as livestock herding and animal husbandry, crop production, and harvesting.

This type of specialized training can reduce the incidence of injury, illness, and death among agricultural youth, as well as enhance the quality of their work. It can also reduce the need for rural youth to seek employment in urban areas.

Many people who work in agriculture do not have access to health and safety programs, due to limited transportation resources, coverage limitations of community-based healthcare services, and family commitments. Online and telehealth training programs can provide healthcare education and career training to rural workers. They include degree programs, continuing education classes, and leadership training. These programs can be a key component in increasing healthcare workforce diversity and improving the delivery of healthcare services to rural communities.

Other healthcare training opportunities available in rural communities include scrubs camps, which provide a unique opportunity for students to interact with a variety of healthcare professionals and engage in healthcare-related activities. These programs increase interest, awareness, and understanding of rural healthcare careers among elementary through high school students. Additionally, telehealth programs can allow rural healthcare workers to continue their education in an offsite location, such as a community college, while working at their home facilities and with patients. This can improve recruitment and retention of healthcare workers in rural areas.