Yerevan, 07 December 2021 – Today, UNDP in Armenia, in partnership with the RA Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, launched a week-long Career Guidance and Professional Orientation Camp “My Skills - My Future,” for 50 youth who participated in 2020 armed hostilities and reside in the bordering communities of Vayots Dzor, Gegharkunik, and Syunik regions of Armenia. The camp is implemented within the framework of UNDP-UNICEF joint “Strengthening Stability and Resilience of the Bordering Communities in Vayots Dzor, Gegharkunik and Syunik Regions” (phase 3) project, funded by the UK Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).

Week-long Camp features intensive programme based on application of different career guidance policy instruments (information services, coaching, interviews with mentors, self-assessments, and tests) to be presented by the “Professional Orientation and Capacity Development Center” of the National Institute of Labor and Social Research, including professional orientation sessions, socio-economic profiling of beneficiaries, presentation of business and entrepreneurial skills followed by a job fair, which will provide an opportunity to meet employers and unfold potential jobs for the Camp participants.

Mr. Narek Mkrtchyan, RA Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, H.E. John Gallagher, UK Ambassador to Armenia, and Ms. Natia Natsvlishvili, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, welcomed the Camp participants.

“To empower individuals and fulfil public goals, a strong career guidance system needs to be in place. Legal and administrative framework to regulate labor markets and employment is required in the aftermath of the conflict, during the subsequent reconstruction process and on the path towards development,” said Minister Narek Mkrtchyan in his welcoming remarks.

Ambassador John Gallagher said in his speech: “I am proud that the UK is actively supporting Armenia’s post-conflict recovery.  This project plays a vitally important role in supporting vocational opportunities and improving access to public services across three bordering regions of Syunik, Gegharkunik, and Vayots Dzor, which have been particularly affected by the conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic.  I am particularly pleased that this project will provide vocational training and practical support for vulnerable people, including veterans, to gain new skills.  This will help enable the conflict-affected population to find and benefit from opportunities for decent, valued employment.”

“The reintegration of veterans and their communities is one of the challenges for post-conflict recovery. It requires a wide array of policies to create an enabling environment for decent employment. Today, thanks to the financial support of the UK Government, UNDP and the Ministry can lead the nationally driven and owned process, with UNDP best practices, in the field of socio-economic reintegration of the conflict-affected population with strong focus on veterans,” said Natia Natsvlishvili, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia.

Six-day Career Camp is launched as part of the piloting of the Model on socio-economic integration and reintegration of conflict-affected population. One of the main objectives of the Model is to provide instrumental support to national policy decision-makers as well as local actors to facilitate smooth transition of conflict-affected population to the world of work. It is called to see career guidance and professional orientation as a tool for dealing with challenges of job matching, unemployment and skills shortage.

Different learning methodologies, interactive presentations, and group exercises will allow for knowledge-sharing, reflections and generation of innovative ideas.

The Camp for 50 youth will lay a sound ground for the practical implementation of the model methodology around the key reference points and enable further improvement of the Model to scale-up its implementation across the country.   

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