Upskilling for future generations (GEN-UP)
Led by Ross Wignall in Anthropology in partnership with Brigitte Piquard from CENDEP, both from Oxford Brookes University, Upskilling for future generations (GEN-UP) is a participatory, collaborative project which is designed with and for young people in Cameroon and Sierra Leone to understand the links between Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and sustainable employment.
Working in partnership with the youth-focused NGO network known as Don Bosco, and with research partners from Yaoundé University, Cameron and Njala University, Sierra Leone, the aim of GEN-UP is to mentor and empower young women engaged in skills-based careers by bringing them together with local gender activists and community leaders.
Funded by the British Academy Youth Futures Scheme, the aim of the project is to provide a model of gender mentoring that can help communities to combat damaging gender stereotypes and to empower young women to build careers in male-dominated labour sectors.
The project is aimed to engage directly with both local, national and international stakeholders and community leaders involved in work with youth, gender and employment issues. Outputs will include a film made with young women in Don Bosco skills centres and produced by local film-makers, journal articles, policy briefs and a monograph.
We aim to directly influence employment policy to make it more gender just, and to raise awareness of the difficulties facing young women engaged in TVET. Recent reports indicate that these difficulties have increased significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic with increases in child marriage, sexual exploitation and educational drop-out, and an overall disproportionate impact on young women.