Vocational Education: A Pathway to a Hopeful Future for Youth in Yemen

After over eight years of conflict and worsening living conditions, Yemeni youth's livelihoods and well-being remain concerning. The ongoing conflict in Yemen has exacerbated poverty and economic instability, resulting in deteriorating living standards of Yemeni youth, whose education, livelihood, and lifestyle have been tragically disrupted.

Young people (15-29 years) make up almost 30 percent of Yemen’s population.[1] The conflict has also made it difficult for young people to obtain the education and training necessary to find work. Most youth believe that getting a sustainable job in the current situation is difficult, while many of them are at the same time the primary providers of support for their families.

Auto mechanics workshop at Houari Boumediene Industrial Vocational Institute after rehabilitation. Photo: Bassam Saleh/CARE.

Mohammed Ahmed, 21 years old, lives in Lahj Governorate, southern Yemen. After graduating from high school, he was determined to find a way to support himself and his family and acquire the needed skills to join the workforce.

In 2021, Mohammed registered at Houari Boumediene Industrial Vocational Institute in the Saber area of Lahj Governorate to study auto mechanics. Like the rest of the students at the institute, Mohammed was shocked by the conditions where it was destroyed and lacked essential equipment due to neglect over the years.

“I registered at the institute to gain the skill of repairing cars, yet the training covered only the theoretical part, and we didn't get practical training because the institute didn't have the necessary tools and equipment. I didn't feel confident I could fix cars or work in car maintenance shops," says Mohammed.

Vocational education offers practical skills and training that equip young people to secure sustainable employment and livelihood opportunities. Rehabilitating vocational institutes in Yemen is integral to the country's long-term economic recovery. By providing young people with the skills they need to access jobs and livelihood opportunities, we can help create a more prosperous future for Yemen.

Students in auto mechanics training at Houari Boumediene Industrial Vocational Institute. Photo: Bassam Saleh/CARE.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and CARE work to strengthen the resilience and self-reliance of vulnerable communities in Taiz, Aden, and Lahj Governorates.

To address the youth's immediate employment and livelihood needs as well as contribute to the long-term development of Yemen's economy, BMZ and CARE supported the rehabilitation of three vocational institutes in Lahj, providing the required tools, equipment, and supplies.The intervention also includes conducting advanced training courses in auto mechanics, electrical installation, solar systems, animal production, and accounting software.

Students learn about engine maintenance in a practical manner. Photo: Bassam Saleh/CARE.

"Both the water tank and pump in our institute were rehabilitated and are operating after years of suspension," says Muhammad Saeed, auto mechanics engineering teacher at Houari Boumediene Industrial Vocational Institute. "This tank provides water for the institute and the student housing. Rehabilitating the tank positively impacted the enrollment rates of students coming from far rural areas as they can have water at their residence."

"I've always dreamed of learning car mechanics,” says Mohammed. “I'm grateful for the excellent vocational training and the vocational kits we received after completing the training. I'm now confident I have the right skills and tools to work in car maintenance shops. I hope to someday open an auto repair shop and let young people train in it for free,” he concludes.

Mohammad points to the newly rehabilitated tank near the student residence. Photo: Bassam Saleh/CARE.


 Main photo: Mohammed Ahmed, 21, opted to study auto mechanics after graduating from high school. Photo: Bassam Saleh/CARE.

[1] https://yemen.unfpa.org/en/topics/young-people-12

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