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Unemployment - Rebuilding a nation shattered by war

Vocational education strategy is a `watershed' for Afghanistan

Vocational education strategy is a `watershed' for Afghanistan

The Afghan government has launched a strategy for technical and vocational education as the country attempts to improve its workforce and recover from more than a decade of war.

The scheme, run jointly with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), aims to tackle the country's unemployment rate, which is estimated at 35 per cent despite billions of dollars of international aid being spent to help rebuild the economy.

There are fears that the jobless rate could soar after the withdrawal of international troops this year, because support roles held by Afghans will no longer be required.

Bodies including the World Bank and the International Labour Organisation have said that job creation is the main challenge for the country's economy.

The five-year national strategy, a first for Afghanistan, has been described by Unesco as a "watershed". It aims to bring together the government and private sectors to improve governance, access, quality and funding in the sector, as well as to ensure that international aid is used to best effect.

The Afghan government said the strategy was "fundamental" to ensuring a stable future for the country.

Unesco has not revealed the cost of implementing the scheme, but it is likely to run to tens of millions of dollars. However, the organisation has said that the Afghan government and the international community will have to allocate more resources if the programme is to succeed.

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