Skills Development for Youth: training and skills development in Rakhine State
Title: Improving income prospects for internally displaced persons and surrounding communities in Rakhine State
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MoLIP)
Overall term: 2017 to 2020
Rakhine State, on the border with Bangladesh, is one of the least developed regions of Myanmar. Alongside difficult social and economic conditions, there are ongoing conflicts – particularly the recurring clashes with the Muslim Rohingya minority since 2012 and the following intervention of the military that led to the displacement of more than 700,000 people to Bangladesh. In Rakhine, more than 120,000 still remain in camps for internally displaced persons (IDP). .
Young people under 30 are particularly susceptible to underemployment or unemployment due to a lack of training and qualifications.
The vocational education and employment promotion services in Rakhine State are totally inadequate. The services that exist 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 formal and socio-cultural barriers.
Young vulnerable people aged between 15 and 30 in Rakhine State have better access to vocational training and employment promotion. Income and employment prospects for young people contribute to long-term, sustainable development in line with the transitional assistance strategy of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
In cooperation with state and civil society partners, this project offers training and vocational education measures for young people both inside and outside of these camps. The approach taken by these employment-oriented training courses and by measures for employment promotion is conflict-sensitive and takes into account the life situations of the young people. As an example, young people are to receive active mentoring and start-up kits in the future after a three-month workplace-oriented vocational training course and a two-month company internship; the aim here is to help them look for employment themselves. The start-up kit for training as a plumber, for example, contains basic tools such as pliers and a hammer.
The project focuses on these main areas:
- Basic skills training inside and outside IDP camps: cooperation with the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Danish Refugee Council, two international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), is facilitating access to internally displaced persons. In addition, 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 are on offer on repairing motorbikes and small items of agricultural equipment for rice farming. Internships are also arranged and financial assistance is available to help with the start-up of small businesses.
- Short skill-based (mobile) courses: the project supports public bodies with the introduction and implementation of short courses and the adaptation of these to national standards. Training of teaching staff and the renovation and equipping of state training facilities strengthen the vocational education system as a whole.
- Community-based vocational training: in selected communities and villages, GIZ and its partners are offering skills and livelihood training. Examples include language training in Burmese and English, the teaching of life skills such as critical thinking, self-reflection and stress management, and general education in economic and financial matters. Also available are vocational training courses in areas such as tailoring or the production of street food. Internships and start-up assistance are provided for micro enterprises. In this regard, the project is working with the local civil society groups Organization for Building Better Society (BBS) and the Peace Development Initiative Kintha (PDI). This facilitates access to young people, and also strengthens the knowledge and skills of the local partners.
- Building capacities in skills training at local NGOs: The teams at BBS and PDI are being supported in planning and organising vocational training measures more effectively and, in certain cases, implementing them independently in future.
As an initial, immediate measure, the project is supporting the public vocational training school in Sittwe with the renovation of its facilities so that the school can stay open during the rainy season and also to prepare it for future training measures. The roofs have been re-covered, rooms painted, a water tank installed and the sanitation facilities repaired. Without these immediate measures, certain rooms in the school would have had to be closed. In addition, the project is currently cooperating with project partners on the preparation of training courses.