Job Vacancy For Head of Innovation & Skills

About us:

Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES-Ghana) is an ECOSOC-accredited NGO at the forefront of youth development policy, practice and research in Ghana. For more than 15 years, we have provided tailored skills training for youth, leading to improvements in their leadership, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and life planning skills. Through our service delivery, we have provided education, skills training, and technical support to thousands of youth and helped them transition to self and wage employment. Our research has contributed to filling the gap in youth data and the evidence base for public policy. And, we continue to use our national appeal and grassroots constituency, through our Voices of Youth Coalition, to advocate and campaign for youth-inclusive policies at all levels. We are entering an exciting phase of growth at YES-Ghana and are looking for new people to help take us forward.

Purpose of the role:

• As Head of Innovation & Skills, you will lead a team of strong motivators who view innovation and skills building as a way to unlock the ideas of young people through youth-centred design, and creating the right conditions for innovation to flourish.
• You will lead this area of our work looking to test new approaches and evolve our emergent innovation services for young people. This will include spearheading the development and delivery of new skills building, social venture and innovation programmes.
• As a key member of YES-Ghana’s Management Team, you will also explore and test our approach around our new ‘Youth Hub for Innovation and Skills’ and guide our medium and long-term strategy on youth innovation and skills in general.
• If you are passionate about tackling youth unemployment, believe in the potential of innovation, and enjoy working in a fast-paced and creative organisation, then we would love to hear from you.


i. Innovation and skills portfolio leadership

• Provide overall strategy and direction for the new ‘Youth Hub for Innovation and Skills’ and other innovation and skills building programmes or the organisation, ensuring that the team delivers to hub objectives, stakeholder engagement, financials, administration and reporting
• Develop our programme of support that inspires and stretches participating young social entrepreneurs, through workshops, one-to-one coaching and best-practice resources
• Lead the delivery of high-impact training to social entrepreneurs, in the form of group workshops and individual coaching, drawing on the support of colleagues and external experts as required
• Spearhead networking efforts with key stakeholders including youth economic opportunities experts, academics, funders and investors to support and enhance the portfolio
• Lead business development activity related to the Youth Hub and other innovation and skills programmes, such as conducting research, designing new programmes and writing proposals for new work
• Lead efforts to secure sponsored enrolments by working with corporate partners, prospective youth participants, and employers to complete training agreements and enrolment paperwork
• Lead event organisation, communications activities related to youth innovation and skills, including holding conferences, boot camps, seminars, workshops, and pitching sessions
• Take lead in developing and facilitating new approaches to social innovation, community engagement, youth mobilisation, skills training, youth entrepreneurship development, youth employment placement, and mentoring
• Keep abreast with technology for development and digital opportunities in the social innovation sector

ii. Project leadership

• Supervise planning and roll-out of our new PASEWAY and Adwuma Pa partnerships and other initiatives under the innovation and skills portfolio in accordance with the projects’ priorities and theory of change
• Oversee implementation of project activities, including tracking progress towards core indicators and learning objectives, and identifying the need for support
• Approve financial allocations and expenditures and ensure timely payments in accordance with YES-Ghana’s financial management policy
• Ensure that all project initiatives benefit from YES-Ghana’s operational MEL system, or other MEL systems jointly deployed with partners, and supervise data collection and analysis as needed
• Ensure timely reporting according to donor requirements and formats
• Facilitate continuous learning over the different project activities and ensure that outcomes of learning loops are operationalised into the project

iii. Team leadership

• Provide guidance, coaching and mentorship to the Innovation and Skills team in the setting and achievement of team goals and individual professional development activities
• Manage team performance planning and appraisals
• Ensure space and opportunities to promote team wellness and safety; report critical incidents to Management Team
• Identify and recruit appropriate resource persons and service providers to support the team in the accomplishment of team objectives
• Promote and practice compliance with YES-Ghana’s core values, code of ethics and other standards
• Ensure and practice team compliance with YES-Ghana’s policies and procedures including those relating to finance, travel, procurement, IT, programmes and specific donor requirements

iv. Strategy and direction as part of the Management Team

• Contribute to strategic planning and organisational management as a member of the Management Team
• Support the Executive Director and Management Team in the governance, oversight and direction of programmatic and non-programmatic units
• Support the Executive Director to develop and engage the Management Team in the strategic growth and business expansion of YES-Ghana
• Support financial planning, risk management and value for money processes within the organisation
• Act as a role model to staff and for young people in Ghana by upholding organisational values and policies at all times
• Support the creation and maintenance of a values-based ethic across the organisation to ensure that YES-Ghana’s values, codes of conduct, policies and standards are understood clearly by all and adhered to in practice

v. Other duties

• Other duties may be required from time to time, including responsibilities which require work on weekends and holidays for which time off in lieu (TOIL) may be taken

Qualification Required & Experience

Person specification:

• Master’s degree in international development, business administration, project management or related fields required
• Minimum 6 years’ experience in technical advisory and/or project management roles in a national or international context targeting youth work readiness, job preparation, enterprise development, market systems, construction or similar areas required
• Proven experience in one or more of the following areas: community engagement, youth mobilisation, soft skills training, youth entrepreneurship, social innovation, employment placement facilitation, mentoring, rights-based and results-based programming, and financial literacy required
• Strong track record of designing workshops and other training essential
• Experience supporting early-stage entrepreneurs and understanding the contexts in which they operate essential
• Experience delivering successful innovation projects with multiple stakeholders preferably in a not-for-profit sector context essential, although commercial and industry innovation experience is also desirable
• Experience in contract and budget management essential
• Experience in event organisation essential
• Strong facilitation and presentation skills essential
• Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to establish good working relationships with colleagues, entrepreneurs, sector experts and others essential
• Excellent planning and organisational skills essential
• Creative and analytical skills, with an ability to see patterns, organise ideas and spot innovation opportunities essential
• Familiarity with appropriate software tools to produce high quality documents essential
• Understanding of and ability to work with Project Management principles and methodologies essential
• Ability to support cross-organisational projects as essential
• Knowledge of the Ghanaian construction sector desirable
• Demonstrated team management and leadership experience
• Fluency in English required. Working knowledge of Twi, Ga and/or Ewe desirable

Salary & benefits:

• Competitive salary structure
• Accra Cost of Living allowance
• 13th month salary
• SSNIT contributions
• Medical and dental cover
• Group Personal Accident cover
• Time off in lieu (TOIL)
• Annual leave
• Sick leave
• Parental leave (maternal and paternal)
• 2 weeks Christmas and New Year break
• Professional development initiatives

Location: Accra

How To Apply For The Job

Please submit a one-page motivation letter and an updated CV to:

[email protected] Please use Head of Innovation & Skills as the subject line of your email.

Be sure to highlight in the motivation letter how specifically you meet the qualifications, skills and experience requirements for this role. Due to capacity constraints, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Closing Date: 09 February, 2020