USAID/Afghanistan’s goal is to increase job placements and wages for 25,000 Afghans – 25 percent of them women – through increased access to quality technical and business education and training, job placement and support services. A wider goal is to increase highly-qualified, demand-driven labor in the Afghan work force in key economic sectors.
USAID plans to achieve this goal through the Afghanistan Workforce Development Program (AWDP), a four-year, $72 million program that seeks to strengthen the labor pool in major economic areas of the country. The program is scheduled to run from April 2012 to April 2016. It addresses the twin problems of high unemployment and the scarcity of technically-skilled Afghan labor and trained business managers. AWDP is implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
By improving the quality of and access to training in market-driven skills, AWDP complements workforce development goals of the Afghan and U.S. governments, while supporting key growth opportunities in construction, information and communications technology, mining, business management, and service industries.
AWDP uses a four-step process to determine what skilled labor is needed and how to create it:
- Labor market demand assessment: Economic sector assessments determine the skills sought by private sector businesses. The focus is on the mid-career/semi-professional level.
- Curriculum development or adaptation: AWDP works with Afghan training providers to design or adapt curricula to meet labor skill demands of private sector employers.
- Competency-based training: AWDP grants help local organizations to deliver training in areas demanded by business.
- Employment placement services: AWDP provides pre-employment training, job-placement services, and follow-up services to trainees, helping them secure employment.
- Awarded 30 short-term labor market-determined training programs.
- Provided 11,074 mid-career/semi-professional employees and job seekers – 34 percent of whom were women – with technical and business management skills. Training areas so far include the use of financial management software, web design and electrician skills, among others.
- Assisted with placement and/or promotion with salary increases for 6,509 training program participants, 31 percent of whom are women.
- Facilitated the establishment of four profitable job training and placement service companies. The companies used an AWDP model developed by four grantees.
Last updated: December 31, 2014