Improved Employability and Income-Generating Opportunities for Marginalised Groups in Timor-Leste

Projekct description

Title: Peacebuilding through Improved Employability and Income-Generating Opportunities for Marginalised Population Groups in Timor-Leste
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Timor-Leste
Lead executing agency: Secretariat of State for Vocational Training and Employment (SEPFOPE)
Overall term: 2017 to 2020

Intergenerational Dialogue: Young and Old Learning from each other. © GIZ/Feliciano de Jesus Goncalves Aleixio


Many teenagers and young adults in Timor-Leste find it difficult to access the labour market. This applies particularly to women and to people from rural areas and remote regions. Vocational training courses are under development and job opportunities are limited. In addition, young people usually lack career guidance and the social skills required by employers.


Young, disadvantaged people in rural regions of Timor-Leste have better access to the employment market. This will contribute to the peacekeeping efforts in the country.

Skill development for young women and girls who could not finish school education. © GIZ/Danishwara Nathaniel


The project focuses on four fields of activity in order to achieve its objectives:

  • Improve counselling services for young people through the further development of career guidance- and job-placement centres
  • Improve and expand the provision of training courses oriented to the labour market by promoting social skills in new forms of teaching
  • Initiate and moderate intergenerational dialogue in order to improve mutual understanding between the young and old about the respective worlds in which they live and their future prospects
  • Advise policy-makers on the development and adoption of youth, labour market and training policies

The project will support key players at local level in these areas in the municipalities of Lautem and Viqueque. As pilot measures, they will develop and implement new approaches for guiding young people in their transition from school to the working world.

The needs of the target groups will be the starting point in all the activities in consultation with local institutions, such as employment agencies, schools and youth centres. Improving communication between these key players through the establishment of dialogue platforms will create the prerequisites required for an integrated training and career guidance system. Social skills will not be addressed directly and in isolation, but rather will form part of various in-service courses for teacher training and activities. The programme at the youth centres will be expanded and, like the curricula at the schools, will be supplemented by extra-curricular activities. The 'intergenerational dialogue' concept brings young and old into conversation with one another and provides the basis for a wide range of other activities planned and carried out by key players at local level.

All the activities will be planned and run in close collaboration with staff from the Secretariat of State for Vocational Training and Employment, the Ministry of Education, youth centres and other relevant institutions. The project will support the partners through the deployment of two development workers. In order to improve the advisory services for young people, the project will be supported by the consultancy firm GFA.

Ina_Viqueque_01 - resized


Teachers have been trained in participatory teaching methods, including social and conflict-resolution skills, and incorporate what they have learned into their lessons. Practical input based on the reality of everyday life in Timor-Leste, as might be relevant in natural sciences, for example, is also covered in in-service training courses for teachers and is intended to consolidate the theory taught in the various subjects.

Key players at local level, such as employment agencies, training institutions, youth centres and church organisations, regularly compare notes about their activities and pass on information about training places, career opportunities and job prospects to the young people they are working with.

Employees and career advisors at the employment agencies have started to gear their services for young job-seekers towards the needs of the labour market and specific occupational profiles.

Youth workers are familiar with the concept of intergenerational dialogue and are able to organise processes which will be conducive to dialogue.