USAID-Foras Snapshot: Bringing Public and Private Together to Build the Iraqi Workforce
A key challenge identified by companies currently operating in Iraq is a lack of basic skills in the Iraqi workforce. The Iraq Opportunities Project (USAID-Foras) brought together members of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the USAID Mission to Iraq (USAID/Iraq), and training and Corporate-Social Responsibility (CSR) experts from Dana Gas, Crescent Petroleum, Skilliance, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Coca Cola, and Afren Energy at a roundtable in December 2013. The round table provided private companies and government ministries the opportunity to discuss challenges they face and to share their specific CSR activities and training efforts in the region to mitigate the issue. Participants presented several strategies, such as internship programs for high school students, and training employment skills and job placement programs targeting university students. The KRG also discussed similar government initiatives to train and ultimately place secondary school and college graduates in the region’s growing oil and gas sector.
The USAID-Foras Project is building linkages between job seekers and employers through training, community outreach, and a jobs portal designed to improve the efficiency of the labor market. The USAID-Foras Project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Mission to Iraq (USAID/Iraq), is an Associate Award under the FIELD-Support LWA, which aims to connect skilled job seekers with private sector employers, helping to alleviate unemployment and boost the Iraqi economy.