Qualifications and employment perspectives for refugees and host communities

Project description

Title: Qualifications and Employment Perspectives for Refugees and Host Communities in Ethiopia Programme
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ethiopia
Lead executing acency: Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MoSHE)
Overall term: 2017 to 2022


Ethiopia has a long history of hosting people displaced by conflict and hardship. With more than 700,000 refugees, it is currently the third largest host country in Africa. Many refugees cannot support themselves and young people in particular are often unemployed. For Ethiopians themselves too, there is a lack of employment opportunities. Access to vocational training is limited and the opportunities existing in the field lack practical relevance. 


Employment prospects for refugees and the host population have improved.


The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is working alongside the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Higher Education to create integrative vocational training and employment opportunities for refugees and Ethiopians in Addis Ababa and in the regions of Somali, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella and Tigray. The project is supporting Ethiopia’s work to promote refugee participation and it pursues a development-oriented, long-term approach.

This approach comprises the following areas:

Improving the quality of vocational training
In order to increase chances of finding employment, the content of existing training courses is aligned with the needs on the labour market. Through further training, vocational trainers improve their technical and social skills and therefore, also the quality of their teaching. They also receive tools for teaching refugees and Ethiopians together. In addition, vocational training institutes receive tools, machines and learning materials to improve training conditions.

Broadening access to vocational training
Teaching staff is growing and new employment-related training courses are being introduced. More refugees and Ethiopians, even in remote regions and refugee camps, are receiving training that provides specific employment prospects. Efficient agricultural practices are being taught in production areas. The project is also promoting food security in refugee camps. Cooperation networks between vocational training and refugee assistance institutes are also developing approaches for integrating refugees into the public vocational training system.

Expansion of advisory services for start-ups and career guidance
The programme supports refugees and Ethiopians in developing joint business ideas with advice and assistance for start-ups, and mentoring services. In exchange forums in the communities, the participants are developing innovative products. Partnerships with companies offer dual training opportunities and initial work experience to help make a start to professional life.

The project is supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation with additional funds and contributes to BMZ's special initiative Tackling the root causes of displacement, stabilising host regions, reintegrating refugees.


  • Ethiopia's first integrated public vocational school (Nefas Silk Polytechnic College, Addis Ababa) enables Ethiopians and refugees to learn together
  • In Addis Ababa and the Somali region, eight curricula have been revised according to Ethiopian vocational standards.
  • Vocational training centres in the refugee camps Aw-Barre and Shedder (Somali Region) have been established and accredited.
  • 240 vocational school teachers have taken part in further training. More than 12,000 trainees are benefiting from improved teaching.
  • Cooperation with 40 companies is providing 150 refugees and Ethiopians with vocational school qualifications initial work experience.
  • The programme is an example of the application of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in Ethiopia.