Increased job opportunities for Palestinian youth

Project description

Title: Increased job opportunities for Palestinian youth
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Palestinian territories
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE); Al-Quds University, Jerusalem
Overall term: 2015 to 2017

Context
The present education system is only able to meet the Palestinian private sector’s demand for qualified specialists to a very limited extent. The same is true of academically trained professionals and managers. The need of companies for qualified specialists contrasts sharply with the high number of unemployed university graduates. According to recent studies, around 60 per cent of graduates are initially unemployed on completion of their degrees. At the same time, employers have found that although most graduates have sound theoretical knowledge, they often lack practical and soft skills.

Objective
Employment opportunities for Palestinian youth are improved as a result of training measures geared to the labour market. Both students and the Palestinian private sector benefit from the introduction of a dual study programme.

Approach
Dual study courses are being introduced in the region for the first time, linking institutions of higher education and commercial enterprises as places of learning. This means that young people undertake training with a local business while simultaneously obtaining a qualification in higher education. At Al-Quds University, the only Arab university in Jerusalem, a faculty is being established for dual study programmes which will initially cover three disciplines: electrical engineering, business administration and information technology. Both the theoretical and practical phases are being developed and implemented in collaboration with companies on the basis of needs and skills. The programme relies on close cooperation between Al-Quds University and the Palestinian private sector.

Part of the implementation is being handled by a consortium from the German consulting sector comprising the Baden Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW), the Steinbeis Network and GFA Consulting Group.

The programme is part of a special initiative designed to stabilise and promote development in North Africa and the Middle East run by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Through the projects that make up this special initiative, BMZ is helping to open up economic and social prospects for people in the region. Within this context, an additional sum of more than EUR 200 million has been earmarked for projects carried out by GIZ and other implementing organisations in the period from 2014 to 2019. The thematic focus is on youth and employment promotion, economic stabilisation, democracy and stabilising neighbouring countries in crisis situations.

Results

  • 25 Palestinian partner companies from the local business sector on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem have so far committed themselves to taking part in the launch of the new dual study courses.
  • For the first academic year, 2015, a total of 44 company placements have been made available to students.
  • The dual curricula for the courses in electrical engineering and information technology have been developed from scratch with support from international experts and in cooperation with the commercial enterprises.

Contact

Kirsten Freimann
kirsten.freimann@giz.de