Improving employment prospects for refugees and host communities

Project description

Title: Qualifications and employment perspectives for refugees and host communities in Ethiopia (QEP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by​​​​​​​: Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad)
Country: Ethiopia
Lead executing acency: Ethiopian Ministry of Labour and Skills (MoLS)​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2017 to 2023

A trainee completing a short-term technical training course in construction and finishing works at an inclusivevocational college. (GIZ/ Mulugeta Gebrekidan)


With over 800,000 refugees, Ethiopia is one of the largest host countries in Africa. Yet many refugees are not able to support themselves. Young people in particular are often unemployed. Vocational training and employment prospects are often inadequate.


Employment prospects for refugees and host communities have improved.

A business group consisting of refugees and Ethiopians putting their business idea into practice in a newly established entrepreneurship centre in Addis Ababa. (GIZ/ Abinet Shiferaw)


The project focuses on the following areas:

  • Improving the quality of vocational training: Existing training courses are being aligned with labour market needs. Capacity building measures enable trainers to improve their technical and soft skills.
  • Broadening access to vocational training: Vocational colleges are being developed into inclusive vocational colleges where refugees and Ethiopians learn together. There are new training courses available in and around refugee camps, which create employment prospects for both refugees and Ethiopians.
  • Promoting employment: The project contributes to the establishment of entrepreneurship centres at vocational colleges. Regional Urban Job Creation Agencies are supporting business groups in implementing their business ideas. Partnerships between companies and vocational colleges are being established to foster the transition to employment.
  • Supporting the implementation of the national refugee proclamation: The project is raising awareness among stakeholders such as the Ethiopian Ministry of Labour and Skills (MoLS) and the Ethiopian Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) on the inclusion of refugees in the vocational training system. The aim is to put Ethiopia’s refugee proclamation into practice.
  • Strengthening psychosocial services: Psychosocial services for people affected by conflicts are being expanded. In order to anchor these services in the vocational training system, the project is supporting the training of psychosocial counsellors.

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) is co-financing the project.

Last update: April 2022

A vocational training graduate gaining her first work experience in a textile and garment company. (GIZ/ Abinet Shiferaw)