Youth employability improvement programme (YEIP)

Project description

Title: SI Mena: Improving the employability of young people of secondary school age
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Yemen
Overall term: 2015 to 2020


Yemen has been at war since March 2015. Today, Houthi rebels and troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh occupy the capital city of Sana’a. The internationally recognised government under President Abdul Rabo Mansour Hadi has moved its headquarters to Aden. Since the war began, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen by more than 37 per cent and the job market has collapsed.

Yemen’s youth unemployment rate is very high in comparison to other Arab countries and is currently estimated to be around 60 per cent among 15 to 20-year-olds. In all, more than 200,000 young people leave school each year and begin their search for employment. The education system is not able to teach young adults the skills they need to contribute to their country's economic development and leaves them underprepared for the working world. Furthermore, schools provide little or no information about possible career paths. Subsequently overwhelmed by the job market, school leavers are often unable to find employment. In many cases, they are also unaware of their own personal strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, there are no links between educational institutions and local businesses that could help young people choose a career. And there are only a few non-formal channels available to school dropouts wishing to resit their examinations.


The employability of young people of secondary school age is improved.


Empowering young people to find employment and thus earn an income is key to building and securing peace in Yemen.

 The programme operates in the following areas:

  • Strengthening vocational and labour market orientation
    The programme is designed to strengthen secondary school students' vocational skills and inform them about the way the job market works. This makes it easier for school leavers to transition to the world of work. Thanks to careers advice and information about training courses, young men and women learn how they can earn a living by becoming self-employed or how to acquire the skills they need to find a job.
  • Introducing vocational studies into secondary school curricula
    The aim is to introduce vocationally oriented subjects into years 10 to 12, with a view to enhancing the employability of pupils who are due to leave school shortly. GIZ is therefore helping Yemen's Ministry of Education to pilot the development and rollout of corresponding curricula in selected schools.
  • Non-formal training activities at secondary schools
    Acquiring market-oriented, social and specialist skills helps secondary school dropouts and young adults to find suitable employment.

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 initiative, BMZ is helping to open up economic and social prospects for people in the region. The thematic focus is on youth and employment promotion, economic stabilisation, democracy and stabilising neighbouring countries in crisis situations.


International cooperation in this area has generated the following results:

  • 9 vocational training courses for 231 participants, including 196 young people. As a result, a total of 85 young people have since found a job or become self-employed. Some 425 family members are now benefiting from higher incomes.
  • The careers guidance manual that GIZ developed in Egypt on behalf of the German Government has been adapted to the situation in Yemen.
  • A curriculum has been developed to introduce the subject of 'Work Studies' at general secondary schools.