Promoting civic, social and economic participation of disadvantaged youth in Kurdistan

As part of the Kurdistan Vision 2020 development programme, the Kurdistan Regional Government or Iraq's Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has launched a project alongside the ILO and the United Nations Population Fund to empower some 750 disadvantaged young Iraqi women and men.

Despite the efforts of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to reduce unemployment, joblessness among the working age population remains one of the largest challenges in the Autonomous Kurdish Region of Iraq. Youth between 15 and 24 years or age are particularly effected with youth unemployment rates standing at around 18 per cent and rates for female youth, some 10 per cent higher than their male counterparts.

As part of the Kurdistan Vision 2020 development programme, the KRG's Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MOLSA) has launched a project alongside the ILO and the United Nations Population Fund to empower some 750 disadvantaged young women and men Iraqi Kurdistan through accelerated vocational training, the provision of a public employment scheme, entrepreneurship training and soft loans for enterprise development.

Objectives

  • People in Iraq have improved access to jobs and income opportunities in a diversified and competitive market economy; and
  • women and young people actively participate in the political, social and economic development processes in Iraq.

Main Activities

  • Conduct a preliminary assessment and registration of a beneficiary target group as well as labour market demand;
  • conduct a survey of labour market demand within targeted areas to assess the most appropriate types of vocational training, areas for new business ventures, and private sector venues for a job placement program;
  • conduct vocational and employability skills training for targeted beneficiaries within the MOLSA's Vocational Training Centres (VTCs), private sector institutions and local non-governmental organizations;
  • train five hundred beneficiaries in the ILO’s Start Your Business programme and refer graduates to the MOLSA's soft loan programme;
  • support 200 beneficiaries incapable of establishing private businesses to find waged employment within the public and private sectors;
  • train youth on life skills, civic engagement, health and reproductive health practices; and
  • select youth to become community leaders and support them to implement 25 local initiatives that strengthen community participation through volunteerism.

Outcomes

  • Seven hundred and fifty young women and men are equipped with technical and employability skills as well as knowledge about business development;
  • five hundred disadvantaged youth are trained in the ILO Start Your Business enterprise development programme and referred to the MOSLA soft loan programme;
  • two hundred youth graduate from the vocational training and are placed in jobs through a government-supported employment programme;
  • targeted disadvantaged youth are trained in life skills, community leadership, civic engagement, health practices and reproductive health; and
  • youth-led initiatives and voluntary works are designed as well as implemented by the youth in their local communities.