As part of a global, multi-year research and advocacy project focused on strengthening educational and job training programs
for displaced, conflict-affected young people, the Women's Refugee Commission undertook a field mission to the
Republic of Liberia to look at young people's education and skills-building needs and opportunities. With the demobilization,
disarmament, rehabilitation and reintegration process over as of July 2009, it is now an opportune time to take stock
of the youth employment training that has been ongoing since the end of Liberia's 14-year civil war in 2003—and to find
better ways forward.
While connecting youth to wage employment is challenging given the weak job market in Liberia, the Women's Refugee
Commission, through interviews with national and international organizations, local businesses and young people, identified
a number of sectors with potential high labor demand for young people. Specific fields are listed in this report, with
special attention to the needs of young people in rural areas where wage jobs in traditional trades are nearly non-existent.
The assessment found that the most successful training programs are those that offer a holistic package of services with
literacy/numeracy and life skills in addition to market-driven livelihoods skills training. The best programs also ensure close
linkages between services and pay special attention to graduates' progress over an extended period after completion of
training. The assessment also identified lessons learned and offers recommendations to strengthen future projects and