With more Somali youth attempting to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean sea to Europe, IOM, in partnership with local authorities, has concluded a 12-day training which covered customer service, interpersonal communications and business etiquette modules designed to make the Somali youth more attractive to the job market.
The 20 trainees were selected from a larger pool of 60 youth who were recruited to participate in IOM’s internship programme in Bossaso, Garowe and Galka’o. The programme was created to provide an alternative to the Somali youth who are often idle because of lack of employment. The trainees are paired with a government institution or a private entity where they can learn the necessary skills that will increase the likelihood of them getting employment at the end of their assignment. IOM pays them a stipend during their internship (which can last up to a year).
The closing ceremony of the training programme was attended by a cross-section of local leaders, officials from a number of Puntland youth associations, and representatives from the Ministry of Youth, Employment and Sports and the Ministry of Family and Women Affairs.
“Our youth are our future. They should not waste their time, energy and lives crossing waters to go to countries that do not need them as much as we do,” said Mohamed Ali Yusuf, a representative from the Ministry of Youth, highlighting the importance of this training and its alternatives as some possible measures to reduce the push factors that force the youth to embark on perilous journeys to find a better life.
Since the internship project started, IOM has been working with local authorities and local universities to identify skill gaps and has found out that most universities in Somalia are churning out degrees that don’t match what the job market needs.
Due to limited funding, only 115 unemployed graduate youth in Somaliland and Puntland’s various districts have participated in IOM’s internship programme since 2013. To date, 67 per cent of this group had been employed by government institutions and the private sector, mostly in the healthcare, finance, logistics, procurement, food supply sectors, amongst others. They also work with IDPs and other vulnerable groups.
One of the trainees, Abshiro Mohamud Rage said: “I have been part of IOM’s internship programme for one year working in admin and finance at the Puntland Student Association. During this time, I have gained invaluable work experience from the organization. I have attended the IOM training and I have met with other youth who are as determined as I am, to be successful in life. I am now more confident about my ability to make it in life.”
IOM Somalia’s youth internship program is funded by the Government of Japan.
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).
Photo credit: gew.co