March 2019 Kismayo, Somalia – As part of the Somalia Strengthening Institutions for Public Works Project RAJO (SSIPWP) and Youth Employment Somalia (YES), 280 young Somali women and men have graduated from three months of comprehensive training to empower them with knowledge and skills for careers in the construction sector, a booming industry across Somalia as the country rebuilds with good employment prospects for young people.
The training which was conducted by UN-Habitat in Kismayo, Jubbaland had four key components - life-skills, construction skills, entrepreneurship and ICT innovation. The modules are designed to impart key building blocks needed by the youth for lifelong learning and effective business and value chain management in the construction sector. The project enhanced their ability to succeed as entrepreneurs, creating job opportunities rather than being job seekers.
As a direct result of the training four start-ups were launched in Kismayo in partnership with iRise, Somalia’s first innovation hub. The ideas will be incubated with coaching from iRise Hub over the next three months. A total of eight start-ups have been launched by Project Rajo following the training in Mogadishu.
Somalia’s economy has continued to grow modestly in recent years with a significant contribution from the construction sector. However, the sector has a large skill gap due in part to poor training which does not meet market standards. UN-Habitat is committed to help fill this gap by equipping youth with market driven skills.
“I developed a strong passion for construction and I hope the skills and practical experience I gained from the three months training will help me find my dream job,” said Ahmed Mukhtar, one of the trainees.
In his opening remarks during the graduation ceremony, the Minister for Public Works and Housing, Mr. Ismail Ahmed Garas said it is very relevant to the demands of the market and is intended to narrow the skills gap. “The government is happy to have the pool of young men and women with construction skills available locally. It will be more affordable to use locally available skilled human resource instead of outsourcing them from neighboring countries,” he said. The Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr. Osman Hussein promised to prioritize job placement for the graduates.
The Somali Strengthening Institutions for Public Works Project Rajo is being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Public Works, Reconstruction and Housing in partnership with regional and state governments of Puntland and Jubaland, UN-Habitat, UNOPS, funded by the African Development Bank.