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EMpower Hong Kong is Looking for a Short-Term Programme Consultant!

Posted 31 May 2022 in EMpower News, Careers   |   Share

Consultancy on executing and utilising labour market scans to be able to shift training offers to best prepare young people from marginalised backgrounds served by local non-profits in East and Southeast Asia for new (potential COVID-19 post-pandemic) careers

EMpower—The Emerging Markets Foundation (Hong Kong)

Apply by: June 30, 2022

1. Purpose of the Consultancy

EMpower Hong Kong seeks the support of a consultant to conceptualise and run a series of virtual capacity enhancement offerings on “executing and utilising labour market scans to be able to shift training offers to best prepare young people from marginalised backgrounds served by local non-profits in East and Southeast Asia for new (potential COVID-19 post-pandemic) careers.”

The capacity strengthening offerings are with and for our grantee partners in East and Southeast Asia implementing programmes for marginalised young people 10-24 years old in Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Its overall objective is for our grantee partners in the region to have increased knowledge, skills, and confidence to understand a systematic approach to labour market scans, its application and benefits to better equip young people with COVID-19 post-pandemic careers. The consultancy should capitalise on partners’ experiences, grounded in their specific needs and their local context. All 7 partners who have signed up for this offer work in the programme area of Economic Well-being (for definitions, please check https://empowerweb.org/areas-of-focus/economic-well-being).

2. About Us

EMpower—The Emerging Markets Foundation (EMpower), a global philanthropic organisation and grant-making foundation, is dedicated to improving the lives of marginalised young people aged 10-24, in 15 emerging market countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Russia and Turkey. Through grants and non-financial capacity strengthening support, EMpower partners with local organisations in emerging market countries, and other change-makers, to enable marginalised young people to transform their lives and communities. Our vision is to build a world where all young people at the margins, especially girls and young women, have the skills, opportunities and power to live their full potential.

EMpower has offices in Delhi, Hong Kong, London, New York, and Singapore, as well as programme staff in Cape Town, Istanbul, Mexico City, and Sierra Leone. The EMpower Hong Kong office, with which the consultant will collaborate, is managing grants and capacity strengthening work for 20 grantee partners in East and Southeast Asia (China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam). To learn more, check out our website at www.empowerweb.org.

3. EMpower’s Commitment to Safeguarding Young People

EMpower is committed to safeguarding young people, to prevent abuse, violence, or exploitation and promote the safety, protection, wellbeing, and development of all children and young people involved in the programmes we support. We believe that all children and young people, no matter their life circumstances, deserve the opportunity to lead healthy, productive lives and to realise their human rights.

4. Background of the Consultancy

Whilst every one of us feels the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic as it ravages the world, it has in no way been an equaliser. EMpower’s grantee partners and the communities they serve are some of those who have been impacted the most. Young people from resource poor settings have been affected by a myriad of issues. This has included the closure of schools and shift to online learning, loss of jobs and having to take on more undesirable and unsafe jobs (including in informal and highly vulnerable settings), financial pressures of the family, confinement and lack of interaction with friends, taking on more household responsibilities (greater for girls and women), an unforeseeable future and at times dealing with violence/abuse. All of which have negatively impacted their physical and mental well-being.

Our partners working in vocational training have been further affected, as many of their courses require hands on experience and integrate apprenticeships and internships as on-the-job-training opportunities, which they have not been able to fully offer.

For our grantee partners, apart from having to deal with lock-downs and expanding the scope of their programmes to offer emergency relief, they have had to make significant shifts in organisational and programme priorities. All partners directly working with children and young people changed the engagement to non-face-to-face mode, adapted their programmes, often felt incompetent to carry out their work, and felt inadequate to support their participants. They faced numerous unprecedented challenges, and their own personal struggles through the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted them deeply.

A year ago, EMpower conducted a global survey on the impact of COVID-19 with grantee partners and young people served by them. This was followed by an East and South East Asia Regional sense-making survey, where grantee partners prioritised their top four pressing needs. Challenges in running labour market scans to be able to shift training offers to best prepare young people for new (potential COVID-19 post-pandemic) careers was a key area prioritised for support. The prioritisation of topics was followed by a series of focus group discussions that gave us a basic idea of what our grantee partners in the region require.

EMpower’s grantee partners in East and South East Asia are focused on programmes that enhance job-readiness skills for marginalised young people, expose them to various career paths and/or equip them with labour market relevant vocational skills paving the way to skilled formal employment. A few partners work with secondary school students, whilst the majority work with post-secondary young people.

Partners engage in different ways to keep abreast with the labour market.

Some carry out a survey with local and inter-provincial businesses and those in the capital city to understand the needs and requirements for employment on the market. Given the degree of marginalisation, these non-profits address, the courses they teach can only address a subset of positions in need on the market. The non-profits’ engagement with the businesses also doubles up as an opportunity for potential employment placement for their graduate students.

They also work with recruiters, who not only provide market insights but also are able to offer placements for their students. Others do it in less structured ways, by engaging with organisations via their social media pages. This has worked for partners working with students to enter the hospitality sector.

Others go with secondary research, and most do not make significant changes to the programmes they offer. The pandemic has also accelerated the shift to online job applications and interviews, and some partners struggle to prepare students for that due to infrastructural limitations.

Some partners, especially those working with school students, would like to have a careers’ library. How can this be set up so students can be encouraged to read up on opportunities locally and nationally and decide on what courses (primarily non-university courses) they need to study? This will enable the non-profits to then find sponsors for these students.

Partners are conscious of the limitations of their approaches and the impact it has on their work. They feel it is not comprehensive enough and they have no way to understand the full range of market opportunities and changes that are happening, especially given that much has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. They fear their students will lag behind if they are not able to capitalise on these opportunities.

5. Scope of the Consultancy

Equip participants from different grantee partners, with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to:

  1. Understand a systematic approach to carrying out a labour market scan, and how often it needs to be done.
  2. Understand different approaches to/steps of a labour market scan in general.
  3. Map these different approaches by level of engagement vs. effort (time, cost) vs. benefit, and equip partners to choose a good enough approach that will work for them.
  4. Identify different sources of local (national; city, regional or provincial) data in Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam that can be used for secondary research.
  5. Design a market scan methodology step by step, including different levels of research with different stakeholders going beyond secondary research, including but not limited to interviews with employers, businesses, and youth.
  6. Process different datasets, including data related to job profiles regarding their requirements for youth.
  7. Know and apply the practical skills to carry out a labour market scan. Whilst not all partners may have high experience in research, most have done some level of research at least for monitoring and evaluation of their programmes amongst students.
  8. Market the outcomes of the labour market scan to the youth participants, who do not choose some courses because e.g. they do not consider them ‘trendy.’
  9. Set up a careers’ library, for students to use and update themselves on the market-related career opportunities.
  10. Set up and manage an online community of alumni, who can be called upon for further research or as speakers to inspire current students.

Capacity enhancement offerings

Underlying principle for the offerings: We acknowledge the need to strengthen practice of our grantee partners by encouraging peer-to-peer learning through valuing and supporting existing good practice. This should be taken into account during “Planning and Content Development” as well as “Implementation."

Planning and Content Development:

  • Develop a series of capacity enhancement/strengthening offerings for the grantee partners: The offerings should be a learner-led, interactive, participatory and facilitative process of learning. This could include, but is not limited to, webinars, sharing content as pre-reads, utilisation of learning platforms for commentary/reflection/activities, periodic newsletters, podcasts, handouts, and phone/app-based participation.
  • Develop pedagogy, content, and presentation materials tailored to the needs of our grantee partners.
  • Create post-training surveys to evaluate outcomes.
  • Optional: Bring in other experts for a panel discussion–experiential session.
  • Curate a list of resources and/or link grantee partners to trainings that allow them to learn further.

Implementation:

  • Lead and facilitate the series of offerings together with the EMpower Hong Kong Programme Team.
  • Facilitate dialogues between partners during the sessions for exchanging best practises.
  • Answer post-training questions raised from partners within an agreed timeframe.
  • Optional: Set short assignments for partners between sessions to experience, reflect, and share.

Learning and Evaluation:

  • Come up with recommendations for EMpower Hong Kong to continue capacity strengthening in this area.

6. Estimated timeframe of the consultancy

The timeframe for this consultancy is estimated to be approximately 8–10 days over the period of 1st August 2022 to 31st October 2022. We are happy to work with consultants from any time zone; however, the meetings will be scheduled to work for the partners in the East and Southeast Asia region.

7. Qualification Requirements

Experience:

  • Professional qualification in economics or human resources or career planning.
  • Demonstrated experience in providing labour market scans and career planning services to young people, from marginalised backgrounds.
  • Professional experience in the philanthropic and/or non-profit sectors will be preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in the design, development, delivery, and facilitation of capacity strengthening offerings that catalyse changes at the individual and organisational level.

Skills:

  • Strong English speaking and writing abilities.
  • Strong analytical and strategic thinking skills.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills with culturally diverse audiences (our grantee partners implement programmes in Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam).
  • Strong and genuine facilitation/coaching skills asking appropriate questions to guide and empower organisations to find their own answers to dilemmas and encouraging participation, ownership, and creativity.
  • Strong relationship managing skills with a small team of three (EMpower Hong Kong Programme team) on this project, remotely or in person.
  • Active listener who continuously seeks to understand people and organisations’ needs.

Qualities and Values:

  • Strong commitment to keeping children and young people safe.
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in alignment with EMpower values.
  • Strong commitment to the partners: the consultant should take a partner-centred approach.
  • Humility underpinned by the belief that partners know best about their local contexts.

8. Submission Instructions

Interested applicants shall submit their application by June 30, 2022 to Kundhavi Balachandran (kbalachandran@empowerweb.org) and April Yip (ayip@empowerweb.org) comprised of the following documents:

  • A narrative offer: 1. Proposal (not exceeding 2 A4 sides) highlighting your approach to the capacity enhancement offering on the systematic approach to market scans 2. your resume and 3. cover letter expressing your interest and fit for the consultancy.
  • A financial offer:Your expected daily rate (in HKD or USD). Please specify the costed hours you observe in a working day.
  • References: e.g., in form of materials of trainings conceived and run, publications or articles relevant to the context of this consultancy.

Questions can be also directed to Kundhavi (kbalachandran@empowerweb.org).

We will only be able to acknowledge and respond to candidates identified as most suitable who will be invited to a virtual interview.

9. DEI Statement

EMpower is a public foundation that makes grants globally to benefit at-risk youth, with a strong focus on adolescent girls. We are committed to attracting, developing, motivating, and retaining exceptional talent and to a work environment that recognises contribution, fosters respect and teamwork, and facilitates strong performance. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds, recognising that diversity enriches all staff and our work globally. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or faith, or physical ability.

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