Instead of dreaming of a natural gas boom, young people in northern Mozambique are preparing for the real working world. Our compact training courses are oriented toward occupational practice and the requirements of the mostly small businesses in the region.
Habilidades mais Oportunidades resulta em Jovem com Emprego, or HOJE for short, is Helvetas’ vocational training project in northern Mozambique. “Hoje” is also Portuguese for “today”. The program is geared to today’s problems, serving as a corrective to the pipedreams and empty promises often used to fob off young Mozambicans, such as “when we start extracting natural gas…” or “when a new government takes the helm…”
HOJE is Helvetas’ answer to current problems in Mozambique, preparing young people aged 15 to 29 for the working world through three-month courses geared to meet actual job market requirements.
Young people hear about HOJE on the radio. After signing up for the training, they are assigned to a learning group and informed about job market requirements and the sectors in which training is available: construction, the hospitality industry (catering and hotels) and other services, and ecological agriculture. Many of these young people have had little if any schooling. They are from severely disadvantaged segments of society, over half are women.
In the learning groups we see which trainees are particularly motivated to learn the basics of an occupation and take on the challenges of the working world. Upon successful completion of the three-month course, each trainee receives a certificate as well as assistance in finding gainful employment or even starting up their own business.
This exemplary project for Mozambique involves collaboration with private and public educational institutions, whose staff are coached to provide solid market-oriented training and help trainees find work afterwards. As in Nepal and Ethiopia, these institutions do not receive full payment of their fees unless and until their trainees take up paid employment or successfully set up a business of their own. 500 young people are admitted into the program each year. Four out of five trainees manage to earn a living soon after completing the course thanks to the skills acquired.
The aim of the project is to integrate its successful elements in other vocational training centers and national programs.