First of a kind job fairs for young people held across Somalia as part of International Youth Day celebrations
20 August 2018. Hundreds of young people have taken part in first of a kind job fairs in Somalia as part of a week of International Youth Day celebrations in the country. The fairs were held in Galmadug, Hirshabelle, South West State, Jubaland and Puntland from 12th to the 16th August, and gave young people the opportunity to showcase their trades and products, with businesses and government officials providing information on internships, job placement, and career guidance in some states.
Telecommunication companies, printing companies, construction companies, and small businesses attended the fairs to meet the young people. Before each job fair Government officials in each state met with young people to discuss the outcomes they would like to see from the events.
The job fairs were run by the Galmadug Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Hirshabelle and South West State, the Jubaland Ministry of Youth and Sport and the Puntland Ministry of Labour, Youth and Sports, in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. They were supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as part of a Somali Government and UN Youth Employment Somalia (YES) initiative.
International Youth Day is commemorated every year on the 12th August to draw attention to youth issues worldwide. In Somalia, lack of concrete employment opportunities for youth and lack of social safety nets has meant that young people become involved militant groups and in piracy.
To address this, the Government of Somalia has committed to create employment and opportunities for young people in its 2017-2019 National Development Plan. The Youth Employment Somalia Programme supports this work by creating sustainable and short-term job opportunities for young people through demand-driven vocational skills training, enterprise development and labour-intensive infrastructure development in key sectors such as fisheries, solar energy and construction. Over 1200 young men and women have received vocational and life skill training under the YES Programme in 2018, and the job fairs are considered a critical component in connecting and helping young people learn more about commercial trades, entrepreneurship and livelihoods skills.
The Youth Employment Somalia Programme is implemented by five UN agencies working as one in partnership with the Government, private sector and civil society, led by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The UN agencies are: the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), UN-Habitat, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The programme is funded by Denmark, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland as well as the UN Peace Building Fund (PBF).