Refugee and host community apprentices graduate in Alexandria, Egypt

On 7th August 2021, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) of the Alexandria Business Association (ABA) celebrated the graduation of 42 trainees from an apprenticeship programme being implemented in the context of the PROSPECTS programme.

News | 13 October 2021

Held at the VTEC premises in Alexandria, the graduation ceremony was attended by Mr Eric Oechslin, ILO Country Director for Egypt and Eritrea and Director of the Decent Work Team for North Africa, Eng. Hesham Aboul Ela, Vice Chairman of the ABA, Mr Amir Obeid, ILO PROSPECTS Egypt Country Programme Manager and Mr Mohamed Talaat, Director of VTEC in Alexandria.

The trainees came from various countries, including host community members from Egypt and refugees from Syria, Sudan and Yemen, and graduated from a range of vocational training courses. These young trainees select their chosen courses based on the results of skills profiling, pre-evaluation and interviews carried out by VTEC. The vocational training courses included carpentry, automotive mechanics, tailoring, refrigeration and air conditioning maintenance and electrician. The programme incorporates several course sections which culminate in the opportunity to receive work-based training in relevant companies or workshops. The programme also encourages employers’ engagement, organizing on-the-job training and incentivizing the trainees to put the skills they acquired into practice to facilitate the transition from training to the world of work.

Mr Eric Oechslin, ILO Country Director for Egypt and Eritrea and Director of the Decent Work Team for North Africa
“Through the PROSPECTS Partnership, the ILO in Cairo aims to increase the access of refugees and Egyptians to decent work opportunities in the labour market, notably through the apprenticeship programme established in partnership with VTEC. Jobseekers undergo an entire process that meets their needs and enhances their experience and skills,” said Mr Oechslin. “The provision of skills development methodologies and tools contributes to reducing unemployment rates within Egyptian and refugee communities and increases job-seekers' access to decent work opportunities. It can also lead to the development and strengthening of Egyptian enterprises as a result of the training and development that job-seekers undergo.”

“The role of VTEC is centered on empowering young women and men job-seekers and linking them to business sectors,” said Eng. Aboul Ela. “The apprenticeship programme provides people with the opportunity to learn and work in different sectors and to ensure that training is well adapted to work requirements.” “Through this educational journey, the programme supported the training of participants on basic techniques; and by the end of these course, jobseekers will acquire skills and experience within the workplace that will help them access more and better jobs,” said Mr Obeid.

“Apprenticeships in general provide an opportunity to improve the productivity of enterprises and enhance their competitiveness and sustainability in view of securing the qualified human resources necessary for their growth and development. Through its high-quality performance and programmes, VTEC has always sought to address the mismatch between labour supply and demand and to improve the working environment by providing more qualified and productive technical staff,” concluded Eng. El Sammak.

The event was organised under the framework of the Partnership for improving prospects for forcibly displaced persons and host communities (PROSPECTS) in Egypt, which is funded by the Government of the Netherlands. PROSPECTS is a global partnership that brings together the International Finance Corporation, the ILO, UNHCR, UNICEF and the World Bank to support host communities and displaced populations in eight countries across East and North Africa and the Arab States.