Vocational training courses provide new employment opportunities for internally displaced people as well as people in need

Project description

Title: Vocational Integration of Internally Displaced People
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ukraine
Lead executing agency: Ministry for Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced People of Ukraine; Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
Overall term: 2017 to 2023


The population of eastern Ukraine has been suffering under the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists since early 2014. Of the some 4 million people affected, more than 1.5 million are seeking shelter in other regions of the country. The labour market in the host communities fails to offer sufficient employment opportunities for the local population and new arrivals. Moreover, the professional and vocational qualifications of new arrivals often do not match the demand on the local labour market. Women are disproportionately affected by this situation. It is often the case that the professional retraining courses on offer are not in line with labour market needs or are difficult to access. 

In addition to personal and family problems, unemployment also triggers social conflicts when the population groups compete for the scarce jobs. The vocational education and training offered is largely unsuited to providing knowledge and skills required on the labour market. Vocational schools often work with outdated equipment and curricula, and there is an increasing lack of qualified teaching staff.

Moreover, state and private sector actors and educational institutions lack sufficient knowledge, experience and resources to implement the ambitious vocational education reform. For example, the existing vocational qualification models fail to produce qualification profiles relevant for the labour market. The employability of internally displaced persons in particular and the Ukrainian population in general is inadequate.


The employability of the Ukrainian population, including internally displaced people, has improved in selected regions. 


On behalf of the German Government and the European Union, and in cooperation with the Educational Association of the Bavarian Economy, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH assists internally displaced people and other people in need in the host communities with entering the labour market. It also supports the Ukrainian vocational education reform.

Together with local vocational schools and other education and training facilities, the project organises retraining courses and further training courses tailored specifically to the local labour market. Aiming to match the training courses exactly to demand, the project conducts studies in the focus regions on labour market requirements. Those involved then receive offers for specialised vocational courses. In this way, for example, job seekers are trained to become IT specialists, office administrators, electricians, assistant cooks and sewing machine repairers.

The project is also working with its partners to advise educational institutions, local employers and the ministries and authorities responsible at regional and national level on improving the conditions for vocational education and training and the promotion of employment. It strengthens the capacity of state and private sector actors and education providers, enabling them to develop and apply new standards and implement education and training courses in line with needs. 

In addition, the project supports selected projects and cooperation partnerships between state, civil society and private sector actors in implementing innovative measures to promote employment (such as careers guidance and training courses) for unemployed internally displaced people and local groups in need of protection. In this way, it can cater to the particular requirements of individual regions and especially the areas close to the line of conflict.


Thanks to the more effective alignment of curricula with labour market needs and the adaptation of teaching methods, trainees can draw the maximum possible benefits from the retraining courses. For example, more than 10 curricula have been adapted to the needs of trainees and the local labour markets or newly introduced by the end of 2019.

Retraining courses improve the prospects on the labour market for internally displaced people. They help them to gain practical experience in professions with labour market relevance such as IT and administration, agriculture, logistics and light manufacturing. More than 700 participants have received training by the end of 2019. 

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