Technical vocational skills training gives young people a lifeline

Erigavo, Somaliland – A lifeline came to nineteen-year-old Abdillahi Abdirahman when he had the opportunity to enroll in a UNICEF-supported vocational training center implemented by the Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs and Family of Somaliland. The center offered forty-three young people, half of whom are girls, the opportunity to acquire various professional skills certified by the Ministry of Education.

“I was informed about this training by my uncle when I was unemployed and affected by the ongoing drought. I traveled from Hingalool to Erigavo, 125 km from my home, and I was lucky to be offered a slot at the Vocational Training Centre”, Abdirahman The Sanaag region is about seven hundred kilometers from Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, and it is one of the regions hardest hit by the drought .

Young people, especially in rural Somaliland, face an uncertain future due to lack of access to skills training and loss of livelihoods due to recurrent drought.

The formal training offered by the Vocational Training Center is a proven way to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds overcome the work challenges they face and become active contributors to the development of their communities and society.

After eight months of training, more than forty young people from Somaliland have learned skills in electricity and sewing that they believe will positively transform their lives. After graduating, Abdirahman received a certificate and a toolkit to enable him to start working immediately.

“I hope to find work soon. I will return to Hingalool, as there are no electrical technicians based there and I can support my community. I am grateful to have obtained the training and work tools “, he declares.

Naima Mohamed, her seventeen-year-old classmate, got a basic education in Armale, a village with fewer job opportunities and facing a drought emergency.

“I joined the Skills Training Center in August 2021 and was taught sewing techniques. I wanted to take a sewing or tailoring course and was happy when the opportunity arose,” says- she.

“During the last months of our training, we have obtained work from the local community, which has brought us income. Together with some of my colleagues, we plan to open a sewing center where we can undertake more work. important and serve the community well. In Erigavo, there is always a shortage of tailors,” she explains.

In addition to basic electrical and sewing skills, trainees learned business and child protection skills, which cover child protection mechanisms and referral pathways.

“I would like to thank UNICEF for prioritizing and supporting vocational training for young people in Sanaag. UNICEF is a key partner in my ministry. The Government of Somaliland has a strong and robust policy of supporting and establishment of technical and vocational training for young people and this We will work in partnership with UNICEF to make it successful,” said Minister of Employment, Social Affairs and Family of Somaliland, Mustafa Mohamoud , during the graduation ceremony.

UNICEF, with the support of the UN CERF, is committed to working with the Ministry of Education and Science to build children’s resilience through education, as well as upstream work. This includes technical assistance to shape policies, legislation, guidance, standards and programs, analytical work to strengthen evidence-based programming and advocacy support.