UNESCO and The European Union (EU) have signed a new 5 million Euro agreement for the second Phase of the national TVET reform project.

UNESCO – EU TVET Reform Project Phase 2: Improving socio—economic status for vulnerable youth in Iraq.


The project will ensure inclusive access to improved TVET skills development services and institutes is increased, contributing to improved employability and socio-economic status for vulnerable youth.


The European Union (EU) and UNESCO have signed a new 5 million Euro agreement for the second Phase of the national TVET reform project.


Phase 2 of the TVET Reform Programme will strengthen and consolidate the policy and systems developed in Phase 1 by embedding them in Federal and local Directorate policies and procedures and through their application at Institute level. The focus will be to create “Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) in five MoE vocational schools in Dohuk, Mosul, Baghdad, Karbala and Basra and four Technical Universities. These nine institutions will be the focus for applying the policy and systems outputs of phase 1 of the programme, and working intensively with Ministries, local Directorates and local school and university staff to develop CoVEs as a model and resource for other institutions and other governorates in order to deepen TVET practice at the delivery point. The work will include the refurbishment of selected workshops to allow competence based assessments and more relevant practical training to take place in line with the new curricula. The economic sectors selected are agriculture, construction and hospitality, with one additional sector (ICT), based on the evidence of the need for ICT competencies in the labour market and sector skills analysis carried out in Phase 1.


The Phase 2 builds on the TVET reform Project (2015-20), also funded by the European Union and implemented by UNESCO, in partnership with the government under the leadership of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee (PMAC). Phase 1 focused on supporting the development of national level education and training policy and systems, including a TVET quality assurance system and a TVET qualifications framework. Based on surveys of the skills needed in the labour market, Phase 1 of the programme developed occupational standards, curricula and teaching materials for training at secondary and post-secondary level in the fields of construction, agriculture and hospitality.


“This new phase of the initiative will continue to drive the reform of TVET in Iraq by developing the capacities of the TVET providers. This will allow us to have concrete improvements in the delivery and quality assurance of TVET provision and thereby give our young people the competencies they need to join the workforce with useful skills, for their career and for our economy and society,” said the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Hamid K. Ahmed.


“Job creation is a core area of EU support to Iraq. I believe that by ensuring the provision of quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Iraq will have better skilled workforce and well -prepared to support the economy. Education is not only as means for better skills since effective education and training policies can also enhance personal development, encourage active citizenship and strengthen equity, as well as promote social inclusion and integration. This project will support all these objectives by providing young Iraqis with the necessary knowledge and expertise to support their country’s economic growth”. Said Martin Huth, EU Ambassador to Iraq.


“Building on the achievements of TVET 1, this project will develop the capacities of the TVET providers to deliver quality and practical training programmes fully oriented towards employment and self-employment.” Said UNESCO Country representative, Paolo Fontani. “The emphasis has shifted downstream from developing policy to its implementation in order to increase the employment of Iraq’s youth. To do so requires improving the capacity of the TVET Institutions to meet international standards for quality teaching and learning while keeping abreast of rapidly evolving employment market needs and demands for skills. We believe this is the way to have the biggest impact on Job Creation for the Youth and therefore to help to stabilize Iraqi society. We are grateful to the EU for their continuous generous support, and to the Iraqi authorities for their strong partnership”.