Qualifications and employment perspectives for refugees and host communities


Title: Qualifications and employment perspectives for refugees and host communities
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Country: Ethiopia
Lead executing acency: Ministry of Education (MoE)
Overall term: 2017 to 2022


With more than 900,000 refugees and over 100,000 new arrivals in 2017, Ethiopia is the second largest host country in Africa. The situation facing refugees, who are housed mainly in camps, is critical. Insufficient educational and training opportunities and a lack of employment prospects mean that many refugees are unable to make a living by themselves. The population of the host communities is also affected by limited income opportunities. For the growing number of refugees and Ethiopians, there is a lack of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) opportunities, particularly in rural regions, that correspond to the demands of the labour market.
The Ethiopian Government is committed to improving the living conditions of refugees. At the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants in September 2016, it therefore undertook to improve opportunities for refugees as regards education and training as well as employment. The project supports the Ethiopian partner in achieving these goals. It is part of the special initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) aimed at tackling the root causes of displacement and reintegrating refugees.


The employment prospects of refugees and the host population are improved.


The project helps to improve employment-related TVET opportunities available to refugees and the local population. The equal consideration of both groups furthers the integration of refugees and increases the stability of host communities. To this end, the project focuses on three fields of activity:

  •  Enhancing the quality of TVET
    To improve teaching skills, the project creates training opportunities for vocational school teachers in electrical engineering and agriculture, as well as wood and metal processing. To create better training conditions for refugees and Ethiopian trainees, the project also provides TVET institutions with new tools, machines and learning materials. Curricula are being developed or redesigned to take into account the needs of the labour market, thus contributing to labour market-oriented TVET for both refugees and Ethiopians themselves.
  • Broadening the range of TVET opportunities available
    By increasing the number of teaching staff and providing in-service training, and by introducing training courses that are relevant to the labour market, the project is increasing the range of TVET opportunities available in refugee camps. Areas for agricultural production are being expanded with a view to having a direct impact on employment, and are being used to show trainees how to farm in practice. New cooperation networks between TVET institutions and those for refugee aid are creating inclusive approaches to training in the public TVET system.
  • Fostering entrepreneurship and exchange formats for more employment
    The project creates opportunities in the field of entrepreneurship in order to boost employment prospects for refugees and the local population. In this regard, support for the development of business ideas, for example, is created. In order to improve employment prospects, exchange formats are being established, which in turn allow innovative products to be developed and best practices to be mainstreamed.

The project is being implemented in Addis Ababa, the area around Jijiga in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, and in a third region that is still to be selected.


The project is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, there has already been some initial success. For example, partnerships to implement training measures have been launched with TVET institutions and non-governmental organisations in the Somali Region. In Addis Ababa, the decision to set up a public integration vocational school for the first time was taken in cooperation with the regional TVET authority. Here, refugees and Ethiopians will in future be trained in vocational fields that are in particular demand. Besides delivering relevant qualifications for subsequent employment, the project helps to build bridges between Ethiopians and refugees through joint learning.