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The Big Idea:

Youth and young adult employment remains one of the most important and intractable problems facing most countries in the developing world. Young adults — especially young women and members of minority groups — often find it difficult to learn about available jobs, and have few ways outside of schooling to build job skills. JobTree would create franchised locations where job seekers could find community, build skills, gain credentials and ultimately find jobs. JobTree locations could also provide services for employee seekers looking to outsource a recruitment process that can be expensive and politically sensitive in many nations.

How It Could Work:

JobTree would marry the best job search technology and training with a physical location where seekers could find community and build skills. The local JobTree hubs would be run as franchises, providing a clean, safe and high-bandwidth environment where job seekers can take courses and earn certificates showing their skills in areas from the ability to use office software, to language proficiency, to skills like accounting and many others. The content would be drawn from a wide variety of existing online testing material, much of it free of charge, and could be augmented with local or international content, building a library of potential courses. Job seekers could take courses at local JT branches – either taught in person or online. Individuals would be asked to join as members (small fee to use the space and participate) and would pay for any courses/certification tests.

Local franchisees would be responsible for basic service at the local site – finding the locale, maintaining standards of safety and connectivity for example – while the testing content would be held by the master franchise. All tests would be administered online, guaranteeing the impartiality of test results (and protecting the JT brand, helping build JobTree as a trusted credential in the marketplace.

JT International (the master franchisor) would work to establish relationships with large potential hirers – multinational companies, new market entrants looking to do significant hiring (for manufacturing, call centers, etc.) and international organizations among others. JT International would work with local JT franchises to help these groups widen their pool of potential candidates, do the initial screening, check credentials and ultimately hire the best – and potentially otherwise overlooked – talent.

JT would have three sources of revenue: membership fees, payment for individual courses and certifications, and payments from hiring companies. Some flow-back from JT members – payment into a JT Foundation fund six months after beginning work at a position found through JobTree – could also be possible.

What Makes the Approach Cool:

  1. It starts with the most interested parties – the job searchers themselves – and involves them as partners in the program

  2. It is designed to make it easier for non-elite groups to see and prepare, objectively, for jobs – widening the pool for seekers and potential hirers alike

  3. International/online testing takes away any questions around transparency, making a JT credential more credible and potentially valuable in the marketplace

  4. It has multiple possible revenue streams, increasing the likelihood of sustainability

  5. Logistics, real estate, taxes and all other local issues will be addressed locally 6. It focuses on skills as part of the search process, making it a win no matter how many jobs are available at any given point

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