This paper examines the effects of a government-sponsored apprenticeship training program designed to address high levels of youth unemployment in Ghana. We exploit the randomized access to the program to examine the short-run effects of apprenticeship training on labor market outcomes. Our results show that apprenticeships shift youth out of wage work and into self-employment. However, the loss of wage income is not offset by increases in self-employment profits in the short run. In addition, the paper uses the randomized match between apprentices and training providers to examine the causal effect of characteristics of trainers on outcomes for apprentices. Participants who trained with the most experienced trainers or the most profitable ones had higher earnings. This suggests that training programs can be made more effective through better recruitment of trainers.
Written with Morgan Hardy, Jamie McCasland and Isabelle Salcher