Youth Career Trail Initiative Launched

60 fresh graduates, mostly displaced from Syria and Ukraine, will be offered paid internships to smoothly enter the labor market in Armenia


Around 60 fresh graduates, mostly displaced youth from Syria and Ukraine, will be offered six-month paid internships in private companies in Armenia as a result of a tripartite partnership between the UNDP and UNHCR Representations in Armenia, and the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA).

Youth unemployment is a key socio-economic problem in Armenia, and the situation with educated youth is a special issue in this context. Finding decent employment is a major challenge for youth, especially for fresh graduates, as they lack work experience, competitive skills and practical knowledge in their fields.

UNDP’s Youth Career Trail initiative is a paid internship program, which offers fresh graduates an opportunity to be involved for the first time in employment relevant to their education, and to gain the necessary work experience and practical knowledge for future job opportunities. During the period of 2007-2014, UNDP implemented five phases of the YCT initiative. In total, 240 fresh graduates have completed the paid internships in Yerevan and 6 regions of Armenia and around 60 percent of them were offered permanent employment by the host organizations and companies at the end of their internship.

Today, Claire Medina, UNDP Acting Resident Representative in Armenia, Harout Nercessian, Armenia Representative of Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), and Christoph Bierwirth, UNHCR Representative in Armenia, announced the launch of the sixth phase of the YCT project.

“UNDP focuses on generating employment opportunities for youth as a means of meeting development challenges in Armenia. This is particularly poignant when considering that there are 36.1 percent youth unemployment in Armenia. As a result of this partnership, we believe that we can promote, even at a smaller scale, youth employment in Armenia and prevent future generations from leaving the country,” said Claire Medina in her remarks.

It is expected that organizations and companies involved in IT, tourism, insurance, finance, food processing, education and other sectors, will host competitively selected interns for a period of 6 months.

On the occasion of the inauguration of this new project phase the UNHCR Representative in Armenia, Christoph Bierwirth, emphasized: “Refugees and other displaced, including the youth, bring something to Armenia: a variety of language skills, often a broad range of educational, vocational and life experience and well-developed communication, service and inter-cultural skills. They need to adjust their knowledge, skills and approaches to the specific Armenian environment in order to become ready for the Armenia labor market. This shall be achieved through these internship opportunities.” “We hope that the internship project will pave the way for sustainable employment and career and thereby not only benefit the refugees, but also the host society and the economic development of Armenia,” Mr. Christoph Bierwirth added.

“Youth employment is critically important for the social and economic growth of Armenia. AMAA’s partnership with UNDP has established over 100 young people on successful career paths in Armenia. This third phase will focus on Syrian and Ukrainian displaced youth seeking protection in Armenia, who have significant career potential. We are delighted for these past accomplishments and look forward to assisting more young people in their career journeys,” said Harout Nercessian.

Former beneficiaries of the YCT program were also present at the project launching ceremony, who shared with participants their experiences and ideas on further expansion of the initiative.