Unlock youth’s potential through training and internships in Mosul

Session Occupational Standards development with SMEs
Session Occupational Standards development with SMEs

16 February 2021

CINOP assists Cordaid in creating job opportunities for Iraq’s youth in agribusiness. Cordaid’s ‘Agribusiness Acceleration Project’ is funded by GIZ and is implemented in and around Mosul. The project aims to stimulate agribusiness acceleration for existing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), thereby also contributing to youth employment with a focus on vulnerable youth and women. CINOP contributes to this project by developing vocational training and internship programs that prepare these young people to enter the agricultural sector.

Agribusinesses can lift Mosul’s youth employment rates

Iraqis have relied heavily on the imports of agricultural produce in the last years. Recent events such as the Corona pandemic –which caused the closure of the land borders- resulted in a growing movement of ‘Made in Iraq’ and ‘Iraqi National Products’. People encourage each other to buy products from local producers, stimulating the agricultural sector. The growth of this sector has the potential to reduce unemployment and poverty, especially among vulnerable youth and women. And this is highly necessary. Since 2019, the total unemployment rate in Mosul was estimated to be 56%, and youth unemployment is estimated to be even higher.

Session occupational standards development with smes (1)

Opportunities for skills development and work experience

Because of this development potential of agribusinesses, one particular aim of the ‘Agribusiness Acceleration project’ is to create jobs for vulnerable youth and women and combat unemployment rates. This helps youth, women and the community at large to build a brighter future, better livelihoods and strengthen their position in the labour market.

CINOP contributes to the project by developing two vocational training programs for youth:

  • Job Readiness Training

In co-creation sessions with SMEs and teachers, we develop a Job Readiness Training curriculum based on the needs of the agricultural SMEs present in Mosul. Before the end of the project, 250 vulnerable youth will have successfully completed the training. After the training, they are matched to an SME to gain further experience.

  • Internship program

The concept of ‘internships’ is relatively unknown in Iraq. Recent graduates of agricultural educational programs will be given the chance to conduct an internship at an SME while receiving guidance and coaching from a supervisor and experienced teachers in agriculture.

As of January 2021, we are in the middle of developing the content for both programs, after which an intensive training for teachers and supervisors will take place. More than 5000 young people have already applied for one of the training programs. This truly shows the need for these vocational training programs and the motivation of youth to grow their skills and experiences. We will keep you updated on the progress of this project.

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