Girls’ Education and Skills Partnership (GESP)
Boosting access to skills and economic opportunities for young women
Nearly three-quarters of young people aged 15 to 24 are off-track to acquire the skills needed for employment. This skills gap is amplified for adolescent girls and young women. The ability for girls, particularly the most marginalized, to make decisions affecting their education and employment is often limited by social, financial, and policy constraints.
Without action, this skills gap will widen, and the barriers that girls experience when transitioning into the labor force will increase.
Generation Unlimited has joined forces with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and major corporations including Accenture, Microsoft, Standard Chartered, and Unilever to launch the Girls’ Education and Skills Partnership (GESP). GESP aims to provide high-quality and market-relevant skills to 1 million young women aged 13-24, promoting equality of choice and access to opportunities in learning, skilling, and livelihoods.
Adopting a girl-centered approach, GESP addresses the skills deficit among young women through several pathways:
- enhancing the quality and relevance of skills development programs aligned with local job demands,
- offering access to high-quality, market-relevant skills training,
- strengthening pathways to learning and earning across various careers, and
- collaborating with communities and institutions to foster an inclusive and supportive environment for young women.
With initiatives currently active in Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria, GESP comprises the following components:
The Challenge Fund: Supports innovative and scalable initiatives across a diverse range of skilling and learning-to-earning interventions in Bangladesh and Nigeria to help young women secure employment or start their own businesses.
The Passport 2 Earning (P2E) Digital Platform: Supports young women in India, Bangladesh, and Nigeria to develop market-relevant skills and obtain certification, increasing access to in-demand job opportunities.
In-kind Contributions: By bringing in the expertise and resources of the private sector, the Challenge Fund and P2E will also capitalize on the non-financial offers made available from GESP’s private sector partners.
Supporting young women to access education and skilling not only ensures access to livelihood opportunities but also develops the future workforce, increases labor productivity, and contributes to important social outcomes, including health, protection, and civic engagement.
GESP is designed to prioritize and address the unique needs of girls, by integrating approaches that ensure their holistic development and wellbeing. Adolescent girls and young women are engaged as key partners, from design through to implementation. The complementary components of the programme traverse the learning-to-earning transition, connecting skilling interventions with real-world access to inclusive livelihood opportunities.
Through GESP, P2E will be made available for Challenge Fund winners, government, and other partners in India, Bangladesh, and Nigeria.