How MENACatalyst Empowered East Jerusalem’s Youth with Job Training and Placement Opportunities
To improve economic participation of youth in East Jerusalem, MENACatalyst launched Empowering Youth Through Digital Skills Development, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The program featured two main components: self-employment to help participants become ready for the labor market and entry-employment to provide participants with the training, mentorship, and networks of support needed to launch lucrative home-based businesses.
Youth in the entry-employment track participated in a series of courses that revolved around soft-skills development, workplace readiness, and business language training. To help participants thrive in a workplace setting and get one step closer to achieving their professional goals, we also provided them with individualized training opportunities in relevant fields such as accounting and digital marketing, among others. Through group and one-to-one mentorship, participants connected with world-class industry experts and professionals to further hone their skills and receive invaluable career guidance.
In what was no easy feat, MENACatalyst diligently scoured East Jerusalem’s disparate employment ecosystem and collaborated with the city’s leading private sector actors to match all project participants to internships that suited their backgrounds and early professional inclinations. Participants were able to supplement the theoretical background that they acquired through the program and develop the practical skills needed to thrive in a work setting. Ultimately, what started as short-term job placement for participants has grown to become fully-fledged employment opportunities, with participants securing full-time jobs.
Local employers provided on-the-job training (internships) for participants as a predecessor to potential full-time employment opportunities depending on the needs and capacities of said employers. Participants also received additional training based on their employment needs aimed at increasing their long-term employability.
“MENACatalyst’s digital skills training program prepared me with the knowledge and skills needed to find gainful employment. After a three-month internship at 099 PREMO Company, I was offered a full-time job as a marketing and sales rep. I would like to thank MENACatalyst for their job placement services and for helping me get employed.” – Program participant, Nasser Izhiman
Ultimately, East Jerusalem’s disconnected economic ecosystem is not only a detriment to the city’s youth population but to organizations attempting to deliver impactful programs aimed at curbing steep unemployment rates via sustainable interventions that have a long-term impact.
Internships and job placement programs in this context are essential, as they provide emerging professionals the opportunity to develop their on-the-job skills and improve their employment prospects via direct access to the labor market.
“Our local organizations need new thinkers and skilled employees. However, due to limited resources, many organizations find themselves are unable to train or find new employees. MENACatalyst’s digital skills training program not only helped our city’s youth improve their employability, it helped our local organizations connect to expand their scope of operations with newly skilled youth.” – Employer, Nabil Amad.