“We shape our future careers for Palestine”
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In the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, the youth represents about one-third of the population. And it is this young generation that constitutes the basis for developing the Palestinian society and economy amid rising unemployment and an unstable political situation.  Investing in a better future for Palestinian youth comes on the top of the main priorities of the European Union (EU) and GIZ interventions in the Palestinian Territories. In 2015, the EU and GIZ launched a new phase of their joint cooperation to support the vocational and technical education and training (TVET).
The new four-years programme “Support for the TVET System in Palestine” has been designed building on the achieved success and best practices of the two preceding EU funded programmes. The programme follows a demand-driven approach in prioritizing economic sectors and occupations, as well as it adopts innovation in TVET provision through introducing new technologies and learning situations. It aims at enhancing the quality and relevancy of TVET in order to respond to the social and economic needs of Palestine.
The progrmmme targets 4500 Palestinian youth from both gender in all governorates in the West Bank and Gaza, with special focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized groups. It aims at offering better future for those youth through providing them with the skills and knowledge that they need in order to find a decent employment opportunity, or to start their own business within maximum one year after receiving the training measures. To learn more about the programme’s interventions and target groups, watch here.
In such a short period of time, the programme has succeeded in bringing new ideas and innovation to the TVET sector; through understanding the local labour market needs for a qualified labour force, by looking at the potential future perspectives of young Palestinians, by bringing all stakeholders together in an effort to support the youth, and through addressing the overall national development needs.
As the culmination of this approach, the programme was selected as a success story, together with only another programme from the region, to take part in the European Development Days (EDDs) in Brussels during the period 7-8 June 2017. This participation signified a remarkable success, not only for the progamme but also for the country and its youth.
Different success stories and reflections from Palestine were presented at the EDDs event which is considered as one of the most prominent annual events within the European Union community that brings the development community together to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
At a prominent corner at the EDDs village, Mr. Mohammad Al Malki, Head of the programme, and Mr. Jamal Jawabreh, Chairman of the Palestinian Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, welcomed the visitors of the programme’s stand-booth and provided them with deep insights into the programme’s activities and outcomes. The stand-booth was decorated with very powerful visuals of Palestinian TVET trainees while carrying a slogan that reflects the philosophy and the approach of the programme i.e. Palestinian youth are shaping their future careers for Palestine.  
The programme focuses on the development of relations with local communities through giving more autonomy to TVET institutions, therefore the implementing bodies at the local level are the Local Employment and Training Councils (LETC),  Mr. Malki further explained  that: “the programme’s participatory, bottom-up approach and orientation to the direct and real needs of local communities represented by the committed, creative and active Local Employment and Training Councils (LETCs) in all Palestinian Governorates”. Mr. Malki added that “the EDD offered a great opportunity to present and share experiences and best practices from Palestine with other countries.”
The programme builds also on the strong partnership with the private sector as a key player in this process. "Through enhancing the quality and relevance of the vocational and technical training, we provide the Palestinian youth with the required competences and qualifications to find decent employment or start their own business. This will ultimately contribute in meeting the social and economic needs of Palestine." Mr. Jamal Jawabreh said.
On the afternoon of the first day, the programme also had the chance to present itself at the main gathering of the EDDs. The programme’s representatives highlighted that - in every intervention - ownership among the programme’s beneficiaries was essential; this as well as the efficient use of synergies with other donors’ interventions, and the strong partnership with the private sector as well as all key stakeholders.
Visitors from different backgrounds came across to visit the programme’s stand-booth during the period of the event. Most of them demonstrated a clear and strong interest in understanding and learning more about the socio-economic context as well as the programme’s unique approach and achievements.

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