Enhancing Job Opportunities and Employability for Youth and Women (EnJOY)

Youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges facing Ethiopia. More than two thirds of the Ethiopian population are below the age of 30, around 27% of young people have no work. This project brings job seekers and employers more effectively into contact with each other. People looking for work get better access to information about jobs and training opportunities. Teaching staff in training and employment services will be trained to better support job seekers and strengthen their technical and entrepreneurial skills.


Country / Region / Place
Ethiopia, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and People (SNNP) regions

Target group
Job-seeking young adults – particularly women – and internally displaced people, as well as providers of technical vocational training, local employment centres and micro-finance institutes.

Funding requirement
12,703,014 Swiss francs

Project duration
01.02.2020 to 31.12.2023


Project objective
Supporting job seekers by improving access to information about jobs and training opportunities, and training teaching staff in training and employment centres.



Background information

With more than 100 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is among the most populated countries in Africa. Almost 70% of the population are below the age of 30, and the youth unemployment rate reaches approximately 27% (USAID, 2019). Youth unemployment is a great challenge for Ethiopia since it can have a negative impact on young people’s well-being and a detrimental effect on the country’s economic performance and social stability.

The creation of jobs is therefore one of the most urgent issues for Ethiopia’s development. Another challenge is to provide vocational and technical training for the workforce to enable professional staffing of the jobs and thus make a positive contribution to economic growth. It is estimated that every year, more than two million new job seekers enter the labour market in Ethiopia. The government authorities and the public employment services are not prepared for this large number of job seekers and their capacities are limited.

A field assessment carried out by Caritas Switzerland and local partners in mid-September 2019 identified the most important socio-economic and employment policy challenges for the work-seeking population:

  1. lack of or insufficient information on employment opportunities and self-employment,
  2. inadequate and inefficient public employment services,
  3. limited access to finance to become self-employed,
  4. inadequate and inappropriate vocational training options (e.g. apprenticeships, technical courses).

To address these challenges and their root causes and thus meet the needs of job seekers and the labour market, the project supports transformation processes of the public employment services at different levels. The result of the action will be an effective and efficient as well as demand-oriented public employment service. The strengthening of individual providers and their coordination and integration will lead to higher employment and self-employment rates and consequently contribute to a drop in the number of job seekers and migrating people.

This transformation will be implemented by a consortium led by Caritas Switzerland, in partnership with the national Caritas ‘Ethiopian Catholic Church – Social Development Commission (ECC-SDCO)’ and the international NGOs ‘Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo’ (VIS) and ‘VITA Ireland’.

The project region is divided into eight areas (zones); four in the Oromia Region and four in the SNNP Region. These areas were identified as hot spots with a high unemployment rate and many communities affected by forced displacement.


What are we doing?

The focus is on better linking of job seekers and employers. The aim is to prepare young adults – particularly women – for the needs of the labour market and to enable access to jobs efficiently and market oriented. Based on an analysis of the labour market situation in Ethiopia and an assessment, various project components have been defined to help improve the match between labour supply and job seekers:

Component 1: Strengthening of the vocational training and job placement offer

Staff and teachers in training centres attend training sessions and further education courses to enable them to better support job seekers and to strengthen their technical and entrepreneurial skills in a more targeted way. Innovative approaches to linking the trainees with the companies are developed and implemented. Vocational training centres are supported in aligning their offer more closely with the current labour market, based on regular analyses by a platform on the labour market situation (see component 5).

Component 2: Easier access to information about the labour market

A digital online job portal is to be installed to inform job seekers about potential jobs and training places and provide them with the opportunity to actively step into direct contact with the relevant providers. 

Component 3: Support of self-employment

The project supports targeted and professional coaching as well as facilitates access to micro-credit for motivated and innovative young adults, particularly women and internally displaced persons in the target areas who are looking for work. This supports the beneficiaries in setting up their own businesses and become self-employed.

Component 4: Public-private partnership platform for networking and coordination

A platform is established with the task of promoting exchange and coordination between private and public actors. Selected stakeholders will receive further support through the platform in the form of training to improve their capacities to support job seekers efficiently and in a targeted way to find an appropriate job. 

Component 5: Monitoring and control measures

As part of the national strategy on the creation of rural jobs, a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) system is set up to produce evidence-based analyses of the labour market situation and to make suggestions for improvements in training provision. This will enable the employment service and training centres to become more efficient, to make their services comprehensible and subsequently quantify their successes. The MEAL system is intended to establish a uniform control mechanism to be able to present concrete results on the increase in efficiency to the decision-makers.

This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Caritas Switzerland and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

This project is supported by:

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