Soft skills for youth employment in sub-Saharan Africa: the Ghanaian Context

There is growing recognition of the importance of soft skills (such as communication, teamwork, adaptability, and problem solving) for the job market. Developing soft skills is considered to be a key element for improving the effectiveness of ongoing efforts to address the youth employment challenge in Africa and elsewhere. However, evidence that can guide policy discussions and interventions is lacking. This project, implemented in collaboration with the University of Ghana, will shed light on the type of soft skills required by Ghanaian employers and the best way of providing these skills to young people using a gender perspective. It will do so using a mixed-method approach that combines a randomized control trial and qualitative analysis for a more nuanced understanding of the underlying systemic barriers that impact program effectiveness.

The project is part of a cohort of IDRC-supported projects aimed at boosting decent employment for Africa’s youth. This focuses on two niche areas: soft and digital skills and apprenticeship and mentorship models that work for youth. Developed as part of a collaborative effort between IDRC, the Dutch Knowledge Platform on Inclusive Development Policies, and the International Labour Organization, the goal is to provide practical guidance and tools for policymakers and practitioners to help realize aspirations for large-scale positive change.

Project ID


Project status



30 months

IDRC Officer

Martha Melesse

Total funding

CA$ 442,500




Employment and Growth

Project Leader

Festus Turkson


University of Ghana

Institution Country


Institution Website