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Silatech and Somali NGO Shaqodoon recently concluded a program in Hargeisa, Somaliland, training 12 local advisors to implement the Tamheed career guidance program. Conducted from _26-29 January, 2015, the four-day program was the first-ever Tamheed training ever to be held in the Somali territories.

Silatech is a regional social initiative that works with partners throughout the Arab world to promote large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, access to capital and markets, and the participation and engagement of young people in economic and social development. Since being founded in 2008, Silatech has financed over 104,000 youth-owned businesses, and created or sustained over 134,000 jobs.

Developed jointly by Silatech and UK-based Mindmill, Tamheed is a career guidance program that analyzes the personality and aptitudes of young people, and then helps to align these with available career paths. Tamheed is currently available through Silatech partnerships with universities, NGOs, and governmental institutions in Qatar, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and now Somalia.

The Tamheed career guidance training comes as part of a larger partnership between Silatech, Shaqodoon, and the American Refugee Committee signed in June 2014 to develop a network of “One-Stop Shop” (OSS) centers for youth employment and business support services. Located in the main city centers of Hargeisa, Bosaso and Mogadishu, and easily accessible to both youth and employers, these OSS serve as knowledge and career guidance hubs for young job seekers and entrepreneurs, as well as for employers looking for skilled youth.

Services available for job seekers through these OSS include soft skills training, Tamheed career guidance and work placement, as well as financial literacy training. Young entrepreneurs are able to access entrepreneurship training, business development services, and linkages with partner microfinance institutions.

Twelve students took part during the last day of training, providing an opportunity for the newly-trained advisors to conduct career counseling sessions aimed at helping them choose a career. According to one student, Fahad Shaker, “This system is almost ‘magical’ in that it reflected my personality and behavior as they really are. The advisor helped me to identify my potential in only a short time, and gave me extremely valuable advice on what kind of careers might fit me best. Please make an effort to continue this kind of service for youth.”

Youth unemployment in the Arab World stands at 28 percent—the highest of any region in the world. Moreover, although they comprise around two-thirds of the labor force, the unemployment rate among young Somalis is one of the highest of any country in the entire world; according to a 2012 UNDP report, unemployment among Somalis aged 14-29 was 67 percent.

Shaqodoon is a youth-serving NGO that provides Somali youth with skills training, access to work, internships and self-employment opportunities. The American Refugee Committee (ARC) is an international humanitarian organization that has worked in Somalia since 2011, offering services to improve the well-being of families and communities.