Economy, Domestic Economy

Call for Investment in Vocational, Training Programs

Call for Investment in Vocational, Training ProgramsCall for Investment in Vocational, Training Programs

Deputy minister of cooperatives, labor and social affairs, Kourosh Parand on Tuesday called on the private sector and entrepreneurs to invest in developing career-oriented education and micro and small businesses, to create sustainable employment.

“Economically inactive people comprise nearly half of the population,” said the official, noting that investing on vocational and training programs helps improve productivity and prosperity, “in line with the policies of resistance economy,” Mehr news agency reported.

The issue of unemployment among college graduates has been raised many times in the past. Government authorities voice concern about the challenges of finding employment for the millions of students in government and private universities.

Official statistics put the number of unemployed graduates in the country at 1.2 million, with another 4.5 million expected to be added in the near future. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani recently said: “More than 42% college graduates are unemployed,” Mehr news agency reported.

Since it assumed office in August 2013, the Rouhani administration has been trying to address the unemployment problems. The parliament on Tuesday agreed on allocate special fund of 10,000 billion rials ($365 at official exchange rates) towards employment programs for the educated.

Mismatch between the graduates’ skills and the employers’ needs is viewed as a major defect in the education system. In a meeting with the High Council for Employment last year, President Hassan Rouhani emphasized the need for reviewing the academic courses offered in Iran’s universities, “in order to better prepare graduates for the tight labor market.”

The Technical and Vocational Training Organization (TVTO), affiliated to the ministry of cooperatives, labor and social affairs, is the main institution in charge of short-term technical and vocational trainings in Iran. This year, the organization added new programs to its curriculum, which aim at reducing the gap between the college graduates’ skills and the labor market needs.

Regardless of what policies the government pursues in creating employment for the youth and filling the gap between the graduates’ skills and the labor market needs, it seems evident that the education system is in dire need of major reforms in order to prepare the graduates for adapting to the needs of the rapidly changing world.