In Burkina Faso, helping disadvantaged youth find employment

About CREDO, an NGO supporting youth employment in Burkina Faso

Created in 1993, CREDO has built its missions around two essential areas of intervention: Education-Employment and Emergency Relief and Resilience. Its mission: "To work in grassroots communities to enable disadvantaged and/or destitute people to recover their human dignity".

As part of its mission to provide access to employment for young people in the region, the NGO has developed a network of vocational training centers covering various fields of activity such as agriculture, livestock breeding, retraining of teachers, etc. CREDO works with many companies in the region. At the same time, the organization has set up a support service for professional integration and entrepreneurship, the Service de Placement d'Emploi et de Développement d'Entreprises (SPEDE), which aims at bridging the gap between the training centers supervised by the NGO and the companies. It is on this particular service that IIEP-UNESCO Dakar has focused its support in order to encourage the formalization of the placement structures' tools. The NGO hopes to gradually achieve recognition of this service by the public authorities in charge of vocational training.

The SPEDE, an innovative service to improve the employability of trained youth

The SPEDE has three components: i) a service of immersion of learners in companies, ii) a service of mediation of jobs and internships and iii) a service of creation and development of companies.

The innovation that characterizes this service concerns the capacity of the system put in place to accompany the young learner wishing to enter the workforce through a triple dynamic: orientation, networking and financing.

  • Firstly, the SPEDE organizes the reception of the young person wishing to follow a training course in order to orientate him in his professional path, thanks to the passing of a "psycho-technical" test, which aims at guiding him in his choice of course and adequate training center;
  • At the same time, SPEDE has developed a network of 150 companies on which the NGO relies to facilitate the placement of the young person after his training;
  • Finally, CREDO also works to develop partnerships with various microfinance structures that allow some young project holders to cover the costs of training related to the financial management of the project and to find initial financing to start their projects.

The specificity of the SPEDE process lies in the fact that the NGO has been able to combine a training program with an integration program. Thanks to its network of companies, CREDO was able to create a virtuous loop by linking different vocational training actors, from the young person wishing to train to the company looking for manpower, including the financial institutions that accompany the young project holders.

In 2020, SPEDE's services benefited 933 learners, including 53 learners from long-term technical training; 120 learners in alternating training; and 760 learners from short-term training. For this same year, the NGO had 373 jobs for the integration of young people. These 373 jobs were taken up by both salaried youth and youth who are destined for self-employment.

Purpose of the technical support provided by IIEP-UNESCO Dakar

The project has received technical and financial support from IIEP-UNESCO Dakar since July 2018 to achieve the following targeted objectives:

  • Improved youth employment and guidance services tools;
  • Improved business development services;
  • Strengthening the visibility and accessibility of SPEDE services;
  • Extension of the practice in vocational training centers.
  • Project implementation was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, but continues until November 2021 to allow CREDO to complete its action plan.

The support provided by IIEP-UNESCO Dakar will have enabled the development or finalization of various orientation tools to guide learners in their choice of education and training (General Education or ETFP; AP to CAP1 orientation; BEPC or 2nd cycle) on the basis of an academic assessment and test results on literary, scientific and linguistic knowledge (English) and the development of a SPEDE management software (registration and processing of training requests and offers, as well as job requests and offers). In addition, IIEP-UNESCO Dakar also helped the actors to increase the visibility of the project with the development of communication tools and materials.

In the long run, CREDO hopes that the SPEDE will become a reference in terms of accompanying young people in their professional orientation, training and integration. In order to perpetuate the practice, the NGO is in contact with the ministerial representatives of each region. In this regard, the government is in the process of setting up 13 regional training centers, which could become beneficiaries of the system or, at least, be inspired by the operating methods of the SPEDE centers.