Skills development for youth: Training and improved income prospects 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 2020

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Context

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 – particularly the recurring, sometimes violent clashes with the Muslim Rohingya minority 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.

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

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.

Objective

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

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Approach

In cooperation with state and civil society partners, this project provides training and vocational education measures for young people. These conflict-sensitive measures are available both inside and outside of IDP camps. Young people can take advantage of three-month vocational training courses, for example. Subsequently, they complete two-month company internships and benefit from active mentoring and start-up-kits – e.g. the kit given to trainee plumbers contains basic tools such as a pair of pliers and a hammer. The aim is that people will be able to find work themselves in the long term.

The project is cooperating with local and international non-governmental organisation (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. For example, training courses on repairing motorbikes and small items of agricultural equipment for rice farming are on offer. The project also helps with internship placement and provides start-up assistance for the setting up of micro enterprises.

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

Courses that improve general life skills are on offer in selected communities and villages. Examples include language training in Burmese and English, training in critical thinking, self-reflection and stress management, and general education in economic and financial matters.

In addition, support is being provided to local organisations to help them to plan and organise vocational education and training in a more effective manner.

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Results

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 400 people have participated in these training measures. The project also organised the first training and job fair in Rakhine State.