Employable, Skilled and Inclusive Workforce (ESIF)

The Employable, Skilled and Inclusive Workforce (ESIF) program is a SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) funded program whose target is to improve the employability and market opportunities of 6,000 vulnerable men and women returnees, internally displaced people (IDPs), people with disabilities (PWD) and vulnerable host community members, through enhanced vocational educational training and post-graduation support, from 2017 to 2020.

It is currently being implemented in 6 provinces of Afghanistan (Kabul, Parwan, Helmand, Kandahar, Herat and Ningarhar) under the Youth Vocational Skills (YVS) portfolio of Mercy Corps Afghanistan (MCA) in close coordination and collaboration with Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA).

One of the program’s objective is to train 3,200 (40%) women and 4,800 (60%) men in a vocational skill. The promotion of the sustainability of 12 TVET structures, 8 public VTCs from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA) and 4 private VTCs, and raising awareness of the importance of the TVET industry in Afghanistan, and its crucial role in promoting employment and economic development nationwide, are other program objectives. 

The main activities ESIF program carries out include: Labor Market Assessments (LMAs), vocational training center (VTC) setup, delivery of market driven vocational trainings based on the LMA results, distribution of toolkits for successful graduates and provision of post-graduation support (PGS), all with the aim of ensuring the employability of at least 50% of the graduates through self-employment or job placement in the private sector.

Additionally, ESIF is committed to work closely with MoLSA in the revision and update of the NOSS, Curricula and WIMs of existing market demanded skills and to develop new NOSS, Curricula and WIMs for emerging skills in different industries, such as railway, gas, mining and hospitality.