Within the “Revival Mosul and Basra Old Cities” project, funded by the European Union, and in the presence of the Governor of Nineveh, Mr. Najm al-Jubouri, the Mayor of Mosul, Zouhair Al Araji, Officer-in-Charge and Head of Culture at the UNESCO Office in Iraq, Mr. Junaid Sorosh-Wali, Consul General of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Choi Kwang Jin, and Director of the Department of Labor and Vocational Training, Ms. Mithaq Talib, UNESCO celebrates the inauguration of new training facilities at the Vocational Training Center in Mosul.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Najm al-Jubouri, Governor of Nineveh, welcomed the participants at the Department of Labour and Vocational Training in Mosul, and said “On this occasion, we thank UNESCO and the European Union, which funded these training workshops, and we hope in the future that new areas will be opened in addition to the field of construction, which is now being focused on in order to involve young people in the reconstruction process, as well as targeting the neediest youth who will engage in the fields of work needed by the labour market”.
Ms. Barbara Egger, Head of Cooperation for the European Union in Iraq confirmed that “the European Union will continue support Mosul stabilization and reconstruction process. However, we believe that the recovery process should be led and implemented by the Mosulawi themselves. Mosul youth should be empowered to lead the economic and social reforms in the governorate. The EU supports several initiatives in Mosul for this specific purpose. I am pleased to see the expansion of this vocational centre. It is particularly important to provide specialized training in construction techniques to young Mouslawis to rebuild their city. I am equally delighted to see young Mouslawis enrolled in the training courses and I am looking forward to these Mouslawis graduate and join the job market.”
In his welcoming remarks Mr. Sorosh-Wali said, “I am delighted to see more than 200, including 25 female, TVET trainees attending the UNESCO-run construction courses here to gain the skills that will enable them to access the labour market and find jobs. I am also happy to see another 115 trainees (8 female) attending courses at Nineveh Vocational School at the same time, also supported by UNESCO. As UNESCO, we believe that today, more than ever, young men and women are change makers, building a new reality for themselves and their communities. Young people around the world are driving social change and innovation, respecting their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and looking for new opportunities to learn and work together for a better future.”
He added, “I am pleased to be here at the Vocational Training Center in Mosul today and to see the progress of the UNESCO project especially by increasing the center’s capacity to host 100 additional new trainees by rebuilding 4 training rooms. I am also interested in hearing the opinions of the trainees who will share their success stories.” And plans for them after they graduate!"
Through the project, UNESCO is working to provide vocational training in construction to 1,550 vulnerable youth trainees in Mosul and Basra, providing real opportunities for the social and economic development of the community. Increasing access to and achievement of TVET is fundamental to ensuring more equitable access to better living conditions, increasingly specialized and better-paid jobs, a more sustainable environment as well as more sustainable economic and social development.
In an interview with Mr. Bilal Al-Hamaydah, the Project Officer, he said, “TVET is one of UNESCO’s priorities in Iraq. As the lead agency for the reform of the TVET sector in Iraq, UNESCO continues to support the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of Education and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor in Iraq. Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals 4, 8 and 11, which emphasize an increase in the number of young people with relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship”.
He emphasized that the project, generously funded by the European Union, aims to provide income generation opportunities for young job-seekers and returnees in the Old City of Mosul through the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the historic urban landscape. The added value of the project is the combination of intensive employment schemes, restoration, rehabilitation and reconstruction of demolished and damaged homes and buildings in the old town. So far, 244 VTC graduates have joined the worksites of 44 heritage houses under reconstruction in the Old City of Mosul.
Ms. Mithaq Taleb, Director of the Department of Labor and Vocational Training in Nineveh Governorate, said, “I really hope that this project will enhance local ownership and self-reliance and provide direct alternatives to young people, making them less vulnerable to extremism. The employment created through reconstruction and urban renewal processes will benefit the local economy, while promoting resilience, cultural identity and social cohesion. "The targeted activities of the project, with a focus on engaging young men and women, will contribute positively to changing people's lives through medium and long-term job opportunities with a time period that exceeds the immediate time frame of the proposed project," she added.