Youth Economic Development Initiative (YEDI) Provides Training for Jobless Youth

Youth Economic Development Initiative (YEDI) Provides Training for Jobless Youth

A huge number of young people is pressing each year into the labor market of  Yemen. The economic activity is too weak to create Jobs for more than a small number of lucky exceptions. On the other hand it is very clear that there is a big Gap between the qualifications available and the ones required by the market. In spite of the long line of jobless citizens, skilled labor, qualified employees and even managers are often hired from abroad. The job basis in Yemen is small and should create opportunities for its youth in the first place.

Due to the urgent need to bring vocational education in line with the demands of the labor market, and in order to keep up with the rapid developments in the fields of manufacturing and services technology, it is necessary to adopt a new vocational education system. The new “apprenticeship” system can meet these demands through a kind of partnership between the CHF/YEDI and business enterprises in Sana’a. The aim of this would be to develop the technical labor force required to meet the demands of the labor market and the continuous development of the national economy.

Concept of the YEDI Apprenticeship Program:
The concept of the YEDI Apprenticeship Program is based on preparing the vocational labor force and providing it with the necessary labor-market skills, through both education and training, to be carried out in educational establishments (institutes) and workplaces (companies). In this way, the labor force will be equipped with the necessary practical qualifications and suitable scientific background to enable it to join the labor market and to deal with changes in working conditions and the demands of continuous technological development. That is, in addition to taking market needs into consideration, as well as the availability of sufficient players who are convinced of the feasibility of such a system?

CHF International – Yemen has started its operations in the Sana’a area in October 2004 and initiated its Youth Economic development Initiative (YEDI) in order to enhance the Yemeni Youths’ employability as well as their entrepreneurship skills.

CHF International began a new program, The Youth Economic Development Initiative (YEDI), in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, on June first. YEDI will attempt to counteract significant unemployment in Yemen by launching a central vocational training center, an internship program, and an entrepreneurship syllabus to encourage young people to establish their own businesses.

In conjunction with its local partner the Girls World Communication Center, CHF International/Yemen has established a Business Enterprise Center (BEC) through which Yemeni youth will be able to attend courses that were designed to fit the business needs in Sana’a. CHF International – Yemen has conducted a survey of fifty businesses in the city of Sana’a to assess the skills needed in job applicants by potential employers.

The courses that will be offered at the BEC are: Marketing Skills, Sales Skills, Graphic Design (two modules), Business English Language Skills, IT and Networking, Photojournalism, Business Development and Entrepreneurship Skills. These courses are being carried out to cope with the local job market requirements. In addition, CHF in cooperation with several businesses inside and around Sana’a, link participants who have successfully completed their training with technical and administrative departments and units in various institutions, agencies, and employers in both public and private sectors in order to provide apprenticeship opportunities as well as opportunities to gain practical administrative and technical on-the- job skills and experience. In addition, this will enable them to adapt to the work environment and transforming theoretical learning into practical action.

The program was developed through the Office of Program Initiatives in cooperation with the Middle Eastern Partnership Initiative, a section of the U.S. State Department, and was handed over to Field Program Operations to manage the YEDI start up.

The existing vocational education and training system will have a number of important advantages at national level, for example: 

1. The contribution of business enterprises towards the development of human resources.

2. Ensuring real employment opportunities for young people who have been trained in a program which takes the current demands of the labor market and employment opportunities available into consideration.

3. Establishing the principle of good quality and maintaining it, in order to have a positive effect on the national economy.

Furthermore benefits are mutual since businesses will have a wider scope of expertise to fulfill their future employment needs and the participants in the YEDI program will have a better opportunity in competing in the labor and employability markets.

Business Advisory Council (BAC)
With strong enthusiasm, around 40 people met six weeks ago in the first meeting of the BAC. They formed three subgroups: one for planning, one for training and the third for Employment and distribution, placing of participants for practical training and public relations.

The YEDI Business Advisory Council role is essential in that the council will provide advice, guidance and encouragement to the trainers as well as the business community to battle unemployment and take a role in the building of a better workforce in Yemen.

A Business Advisory Council (BAC), comprised of leading business owners, young professionals, women’s and youth organizations, community leaders and local government bodies had been established to provide advice concerning the skill development needs of businesses in Yemen, ensure demand-driven and responsive services that meet the needs of all stakeholders

We saw in the initiative a great opportunity and a good start to give hope to many young people, who are the hope for a better future for Yemen and the biggest Challenge to it in the same time.

Therefore we should look at the YEDI as an initiative to be developed to become nationwide, comprehensive and to get the necessary scope, stability and concept to become a sustainable self driven institution of the Yemeni society.