DEG Study: Bridging the skills gaps in developing countries

deg coverMore than 200 million people are looking for jobs globally. Simultaneously, companies are facing difficulties filling vacant positions or finding suitably skilled staff. “These skills gaps – the difference between the skills needed for a job and the capabilities of the workforce – represent a major constraint on social and economic development, particularly in developing countries,” says Bruno Wenn, Chairman of the Management Board of DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbh.

The study “Bridging the skills gaps in developing countries: A practical guide for private sector companies, published by Let’s Work Partner, DEG, evaluates how private entrepreneurs can close the skills gaps via targeted measures implemented within the workforce, suppliers, and local communities. In cooperation with the Boston Consulting Group, the study was produced as a contribution of the Association of European Development Finance Institutions within the global Let’s Work Partnership.

The study provides companies with a tool to pursue meaningful developmental and business activities to close skills gaps. The practical relevance of the study is supported by a three-step approach based on theory, practical examples, and field testing. It includes the following:

  • A user-friendly guide for practitioners consisting of six steps, including a self-analysis tool, offers companies a practical guide to recognize skills gaps and how to successfully bridge them.
  • An outline of proven examples shows companies specific and detailed ways of closing gaps on three levels – staff, suppliers, and local communities.
  • A new practical assessment method for private-sector activities that bridge skills gaps. It offers companies different data situations, which is necessary to quickly and meaningfully assess their assessment.
  • The win-win situation of private-sector activities for bridging skills gaps on three levels – employees, suppliers and local communities – is analyzed and demonstrated using selected case studies for the first time. Local people, staff, suppliers and the company will benefit from this.
  • The approaches developed – guide for practitioners, self-analysis tool, and assessment methods – were tested and optimized by conducting case studies with five customers.

Contact | Ulrike Dangelmaier,