How to guide the careers of young people in the water and sanitation sector

This briefing note summarises research into how young people are recruited and how their careers are developed in water supply and sanitation (WSS) services.
The research is part of the first phase of a project called ‘Career Pathways Guidance’.
The project’s objective is to create guidance for services providers in the Global South, including utility and WSS services managers, on how to manage young people better, by understanding:

  • their motivations and career aspirations
  • the opportunities they want
  • their preferred ways of working
  • the skills that they bring

The research presented in this document will be used to create the guidance. The results of the research reveal a sector that is mostly failing its young staff and potential recruits. There are simply too many barriers put in young people’s way even before they are recruited. WSS employers value young people’s skills, but they often do not develop and nurture them in any kind of meaningful or structured way. However, there are also excellent examples of good practice. There are relatively simple actions by managers that can make a huge difference in recruiting and retaining young people to make water and sanitation services more sustainable. The challenges and examples of existing solutions are presented in this document. The Career Pathways Guidance project is led by AquaFed and funded by the Netherlands Government’s Valuing Water Initiative Youth Journey. The research was carried out by the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN).

Categories: English | Report, Factsheet | Water

Year: 2023

Authors: Neil Dhot, Rena Salzmann, Meleesa Naughton