USAID has officially launched a new project: Armenia Workforce Development Activity. RA ESCS Deputy Minister Karen Trchunyan, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy, and other officials participated in the official launch ceremony.

The program will be implemented by the Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF) and other partners. The cost of the program is $7.5 million, with a timeframe of 5 years. It plans to equip about 10 thousand young people with practical skills of demanded professions to have better job opportunities.

“The human capital is a priority for development, and it is the biggest advantage of Armenia. This program addresses the labor market mismatches, involving young people, women, the private sector, and educational institutions. The objective of the program is to improve “soft” and technical skills, change the Armenian labor market and evaluate legal and regulatory environment changes that will contribute to the growth of job opportunities for young people and women in such important sectors as high technology, agriculture, tourism, and hospitality,” stated Ambassador Tracey welcoming her colleagues and the participants of the event.

Congratulating his colleagues on the launch of the new program, ESCS Deputy Minister Karen Trchunyan noted the importance of the development and viability of the education-labor market connection, compliance with each other's requirements. The Deputy Minister noted that one shouldn’t combine higher education with the skills acquired in a certain period. According to him, the acquisition of skills should be part of higher education with a specific purpose, ensuring the quality and practicality of education.

K. Trchunyan wished success to the participants who will be involved in this program: “I am hopeful that the individuals participating in this program will come up in the future with their projects for other sectors as well, with the newly obtained experiences. On behalf of the Ministry, I assure you that we will support in the best way possible any project that improves the life of the society.”

During the event, EIF Director Bagrat Yengibaryan presented the goals and objectives of the program, which will enable the youth and women to improve their skills in line with the needs of the labor market, find employment in ICT, agriculture, tourism, and hospitality.

Over the next 5 years, the program will target young people aged 15-29, involving them in various capacity-building programs through work-based learning. The program will also help people with disabilities by responding to their special needs, encouraging their aspirations, and stimulating professional improvement, the development of employment opportunities. According to Yengibaryan, it is also envisaged to actively involve the private sector.