Improving employment opportunities for internally displaced persons and supporting the reform of vocational training in Ukraine

Project description

Title: Vocational integration of internally displaced people/EU4Skills
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), European Union (EU)
Co-funded by: European Union
Country: Ukraine
Lead executing agency: Ministry of reintegration of temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine; Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
Overall term: 2017 to 2023

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The conflict in eastern Ukraine has forced 1.4 million people from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to leave their homes and settle in other regions of the country. One of the most pressing problems for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and people living in the host communities is the lack of employment opportunities. Moreover, the qualifications of the IDPs often do not match the job profiles in demand on the labour market. Women are disproportionately affected.

Vocational retraining courses are rarely geared to the needs of the labour market, nor are they equally accessible to everybody. In addition to personal and family problems, unemployment also triggers social conflicts when population groups compete for scarce jobs.

Most of the existing vocational training courses do not offer participants enough opportunities to acquire qualification profiles relevant for the labour market. Vocational schools often work with outdated equipment and curricula. Moreover, vocational education and training has a poor image in Ukraine and is not considered to be a career-enhancing option.


The employability both of IDPs and the population of the host communities in the Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava and Zaporizhia regions and in the government-controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions has improved.

The effectiveness of the reform of the vocational training system has improved. The implementation of the reform is supported in seven focus regions: Chernivtsi, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Rivne, Zaporizhia and Vinnytsia.

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The project consists of two components. In the first component, which is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), training opportunities for IDPs are being created in cooperation with private and public educational institutions, representatives of initiatives and associations as well as with the Bildungswerk der Bayerischen Wirtschaft e. V. (Educational Association of the Bavarian Economy). These are geared specifically to the local labour market. In order to tailor the training courses precisely to demand, the project conducts studies in the focus regions on labour market requirements. For example, job seekers are trained as IT specialists, office administrators, electricians, assistant cooks and sewing machine repairers. The training courses offered are free of charge for the participants. Depending on the requirements of the job specification, they can last from a few weeks to half a year. 

The second component is financed by the European Union (EU), Germany, Finland and Poland and is carried out jointly with the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and partners from Finland, Poland and Estonia.

The project supports the development of efficient vocational training with effective coordination and financing mechanisms. The introduction of a skills-based training and examination system is intended to promote modern forms of teaching and learning. These will improve the quality of the system and its demand-led approach. 

The project also focuses on cross-cutting issues. These include cooperation between the public and private sectors as well as initiatives and associations, gender aspects and the use of digital potential. The partnership with employers plays a central role in implementing the reform. Joint efforts by stakeholders at government level and in the regions and municipalities increase the effectiveness of implementation.


By the end of 2019, more than 1,000 IDPs and people affected by the conflict from six regions in eastern Ukraine had already enhanced their employability through further training. Above all, the adaptation of curricula to the needs of the labour market, careers guidance and training in personal skills – such as improving social skills and teamwork – have also supported this goal.

Within the first two years, support was also provided for five regional partnerships with stakeholders from different sectors. Together they have implemented innovative projects to facilitate the framework conditions for improved employability.

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Additional information