Newly-Equipped Training Center Offers Economic Opportunity for Young People in Tabqa

Speeches Shim

Friday, February 18, 2022
Students participate in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) training course
USAID Syria Livelihoods Program

After years of watching conflict and destruction steal hope from their neighbors, a group of dedicated young Syrians established a local community-based organization (CBO) operating in the city of Tabqa, in Raqqa governorate. The organization is dedicated to building upon the available human capital of the city by improving youth access to high demand skills that will enable them to access employment opportunities, contribute to rebuilding the city, and revive the economy.

“When we first started thinking about creating the organization, we dreamed about restoring the city to what it was before the conflict. Seeing how the city was turned into rubble and looking into the faces of scared children who could not cope, or even understand, the trauma that they and everyone else had experienced, made us more adamant to help alleviate the impact of the conflict,” said one of the organization’s staff members.

The organization began its work with projects like rubble removal and street light repair, which had an immediate impact and raised community hope and trust in the organization.  Looking for a more sustainable way to help the community, the organization partnered with the USAID Syria Livelihoods Program to establish a permanent vocational training center in Tabqa.  

With USAID support, the local partner developed curricula and conducted four vocational training programs: 1) Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and home appliance maintenance and repair, 2) window and door construction and repair, 3) solar panel installation and repair, and 4) digital media and photography. USAID provided all the needed equipment and tools to deliver the training courses on an ongoing basis. The first classes in each of the four vocations - a total of 30 men and 10 women - completed the training courses in early 2021. Following the training courses, more than half of the students now have jobs in their fields and are able to earn a living from their new vocations.

"The training program was excellent, especially teaching us skills that are in high demand in the labor market, which really made me even more adamant to keep up with my teachers and learn from them as much as I can,” said Khalid*, a graduate of the HVAC course. “[The program] has really instilled hope in us. I hope that through what I have learned from the training and the skills that I have applied that I will be able to open up my own workshop soon.”  

Solar panel repair and installation students during their training course
Solar panel repair and installation students during their training course
USAID Syria Livelihoods Program

Building on the success of the first round of training, the courses were replicated for another class of 40 students at the newly established center without any outside support. The participating students paid small fees to support their training which will allow the center to sustain the current courses and potentially expand into new areas in the future. Additionally, to help the graduates find jobs, refine their skills, or kick start their own businesses, the newly-equipped vocational training center provides access to use of the center’s trade equipment for a nominal fee. Through this work, the center will provide in-demand services that help people to access opportunities to support themselves and their families, while supporting the economic recovery of Tabqa. 

"Our goal is to instill hope in the people of Tabqa so that they have the skills needed and hopes to restore the city to its former glory,” said a representative of the CBO. “We have seen the potential of our people and hope that through the courses offered at the center, which is fully equipped for the programs we train on, we can unlock their potential and rebuild the city together.”

Last updated: September 23, 2022

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