Sustainable Livelihoods and Skills Building
Infrastructure and natural resources projects are typically located in rural areas inhabited by people who are eager for economic benefits and opportunities to improve their livelihoods. In reality, the demand for employment can exceed the availability of jobs. Yet, stakeholders and local communities are increasingly requiring inclusion and the chance to participate in project benefits. Companies are therefore thinking more holistically about how to reorient their community investment approach towards improving livelihoods, expanding economic benefits as widely as possible, and partnering with local stakeholders to build and maintain sustainable solutions.
Some projects contribute to sustainable livelihoods by linking local communities to the business supply chain or by creating alternative markets for agricultural products. Companies can also make significant contributions in the workplace through on-the-job training programs, health & safety education and other educational options that improve employee productivity and build life-long skills. Corporate training expertise can be leveraged for the benefit of the broader community by partnering with local stakeholders to invest in skills and capacity building initiatives. Partnering to provide capacity building in hygiene for local restaurants and hotels, for example, contributes to the local skills base, enhances livelihoods and helps the company build relationships with local stakeholders.