Skills Development for Youth: Promoting vocational skills for young people in Rakhine State

Project description

Title: Skills Development for Vulnerable Youth in Rakhine State
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Myanmar
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MoLIP)
Overall term: 2017 to 2023



Rakhine State, on the border with Bangladesh, is one of the least developed regions of Myanmar. In addition to challenging social and economic conditions, there are ongoing conflicts, in particular the sometimes violent clashes with the Muslim Rohingya minority which have been recurring since 2012. This conflict escalated again in 2017, and over 720,000 people have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since then. More than 120,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) still live in camps in Rakhine. In addition, the military has become increasingly embroiled in clashes with ethnic armed organisations since 2018, leading to further displacement of the local population.

In Rakhine State, young people under 30 are particularly likely to be underemployed or unemployed due to a lack of training and qualifications. The vocational training and employment promotion services are inadequate. Existing services for young people in the region are not employment-oriented and do not take social and entrepreneurial skills into account.

Access to these services is further limited for young Rohingyas, some of whom live in IDP camps, as a result of official and socio-cultural barriers.


Young people aged between 15 and 30 from vulnerable sections of the population in Rakhine State have better access to vocational training courses and employment promotion. The income and employment prospects of young people contribute to the country’s sustainable development.



In cooperation with state and civil society partners, the project provides training and vocational education measures for young people. These conflict-sensitive measures are offered both inside and outside of IDP camps. Young people can take advantage of three-month vocational training courses, for example. Then they complete internships and receive personal support and advice, along with start-up-kits. The aim is that this will enable people to find work themselves in the long term.

The project is cooperating with local and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in order to gain access to IDPs. As part of this, the existing training courses are being refined and adapted to national standards. The project harnesses the experience of the NGOs on (mobile) skills training as a basis for developing its own activities. Training courses on repairing motorbikes or small items of agricultural equipment for rice farming are offered. The project also helps with internship placement and provides start-up assistance for founding micro enterprises.

The project supports state agencies in launching and implementing short courses and in adapting these to national standards. Instructor training and the renovation and equipping of government training facilities strengthen the vocational education system as a whole.

In selected communities and villages, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and its partners offer courses that improve general life skills. Examples include language training in Burmese and English, training in critical thinking, self-reflection or stress management, and general education in economic and financial matters.
Support is also provided to local organisations to help them more effectively plan and organise vocational education and training.



The vocational training school in Sittwe has undergone extensive renovation. Training rooms for short courses have been created and equipped. In skills-based training courses, young people have acquired skills in repairing motorbikes and agricultural machinery, installing electrical wiring, and sewing and embroidering garments. In total, over 3,000 people have participated in these training measures. The project also organised a training and job fair in Rakhine State for over 1,500 people.

Last update: April 2021

Additional information