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New Initiative to Involve Refugees in Yemen’s Workforce

National Yemen

New Initiative to Involve Refugees in Yemen’s Workforce

By: Abdurrahman Shamlan

In cooperation with the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR, the Ministry of Technical Education and Vocational Training opened on Wednesday a new turning aluminum center in the Technical and Vocational Institute in Baghdad Street in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a.

The department was the third of its kind in the country as the UNHCR and the Ministry managed to open the same department in Aden and Lahj provinces in the couple of past years.

The opening was attended by UNHCR official who has pointed out that the UNHCR is committed to funding and helping the institute based on their memo of understanding. The total cost of the project is $30000 as was jointly funded between the ECHO and UNHCR.

Fatahia Mohammed has pointed out that the Yemeni government and the UNHCR agreed that at least a refugee living in Yemen be enrolled in the training in every department of the institute.

The agreement aimed to ensure that the thousands of refugees living in Yemen benefit from the training and therefore be integrated in the Yemeni workforce.

Only in 2011, more than 100,003 have entered Yemen from the horn of Africa, mostly from Somalia. The large influx of refugees into Yemen has heightened the humanitarian crisis of the poorest Arab state.

For his part, the Deputy Minister of Technical Education and Vocational Training Abdulqader Elbe said in a briefing to the reporters that the ministry and the UNHCR opened this department because of the high demand for it.

He thanked the UNHCR for assisting Yemen and being a part of this project, and stressed the importance of involving the refugees in the training in the various departments of the institute.

Elbe said that a new department will also be opened in the coming few months in the southeastern Yemeni province of Hadramout.

The UNHCR official, Fathia, said this project is a part of the UN agency efforts to help the refugees.

“This is a good opportunity for the refugees. They have to benefit from this training and sharpen their skills so they can be involved easily in the workforce,” said Fathia.

 Mohammed Al-Thari, the general manager of qualification in the institute, said that we opened this department as a study conducted by the institute showed that there is high demand for this field.

“As long as there is high demand we felt obliged to open the department,” he said.

Engineer Saeed Mohammed Abdu-Raheem, an expert on market demands, confirmed that this initiative is going to be very beneficial as there are high demands for the turning aluminum in the country.

However, the institute was looking bad with old machines and grubby places. Many students and teachers told National Yemen that the machines they study on are very old and therefore useless.

Bashra al-Harazi, a trainer in the institute, said that the institute lacks qualified trainers, especially the newly-opened department. The teachers took intensive courses so they are not qualified enough.

“Bringing foreign trainers to teach in this department will be better for the students in order for them to be qualified and able to work in both Yemeni and Gulf markets,”

Hundreds of thousands of African refugees make a perilous journey across the Gulf of Aden to reach Yemen. They use Yemen as a gateway to go to other rich states like the GCC countries.