Internship programme of German business for Ukraine
Title: Internship programme of German business for Ukraine
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine
Overall term: 2014 to 2021
Ukraine is severely affected by youth unemployment. According to the country’s State Statistics Committee, almost 20 per cent of the population between the ages of 15 and 24 were unemployed in 2017. Even university graduates frequently fail to find employment or have to accept jobs that are not commensurate with their academic qualifications. At the same time, many Ukrainian companies complain of a lack of skilled staff and that the applicants do not have practical experience.
This absence of practical knowledge is a result of university education that is often far too theoretical. A lack of international experience also reduces the career opportunities of university graduates in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Government has identified youth unemployment as a priority problem and aims to significantly reduce it as one of its national development goals for the 2030 Agenda.
Ukrainian businesses have access to better qualified university graduates.
The project promotes better opportunities for young people on Ukraine’s labour market, thereby helping the country to achieve its national goals for the 2030 Agenda. The project arranges internships in Germany in close cooperation with German companies and the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI). The interns are selected in processes consisting of several stages. These three-to-six-month internships are instrumental in unlocking Ukraine’s future potential by giving highly motivated young people a fair chance to develop their career prospects on the labour market. The Ukrainian economy as a whole also benefits from the returning internship alumni, who have gained international experience and made business contacts.
In addition to practical expertise, the internships teach the participants about German business culture. The Ukrainian interns acquire intercultural skills and learn about innovative management tools. After completing their internship, the participants usually find employment in Ukraine that corresponds to their qualifications. Additional application training in Ukraine also provides them with the relevant skills to conduct a successful job search. During the programme, the participants have the opportunity to establish professional contacts and an alumni network allows them to remain in contact to share their professional experiences once the programme has been completed.
By the end of 2019, nearly 200 interns had been placed in 90 German companies. Around half of the participants are women. The internships at German companies improved the participants’ career prospects considerably: 82 per cent of those who completed an internship between 2015 and 2018 quickly found a job in Ukraine or are now self-employed. Over 90 per cent of alumni confirm that their internship provided them with appropriate skills for the labour market. The German companies were also very pleased with the performance of their interns from Ukraine: in 2019, 93 per cent confirmed that they saw a considerable increase of professional expertise during the internship.