• The development of skills related to the mining, oil and gas sectors in Afghanistan is critical as the extractive industry is expected to be – along with agriculture- one of the two principal drivers of growth for the Afghan economy.
  • More than 16,000 jobs can be directly generated by the 10 biggest extractive projects currently envisioned by the Ministry of Mines. A wide range of skillsets will be needed, from top management to basic mining operations.
  • To ensure Afghans can seize these upcoming employment opportunities, actions are required to increase the quality and quantity of available professional qualifications.
  • Unskilled and semi-skilled positions will account for 70% of the employment estimates. High-end jobs, specialized in geology, resource management, and petroleum engineering represent only 10-15% of skills needed.
  • While most major donors have a program in place to address skills development through their education or workforce initiatives, no existing programs are specifically focus on skills related to the extractive industries.
  • In particular, it will be crucial to support domestic job seekers to access jobs in the extractive sector by improving the quality of relevant programs in educational facilities and encouraging engagement between job seekers and employers. To do this, a dedicated team in charge of the Skills Strategy Development (SSD) component of ARTF will serve as a liaison between donors/partners, the extractive companies, and recipients of assistance (Universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions).
  • The biggest areas of intervention of the SSD are work placement and practical training. A key success factor in this respect is private sector participation especially information sharing with educational institutions as well as involvement in internship programs for prospective employees. As the Amu Darya project has already begun, immediate interventions are needed in order to ensure that locals can seize employment opportunities.
  • To cope with this requirement, the program design is divided into two phases: first, a pilot program focused on short-term interventions, leaving time for the project team to promote awareness of the skills strategy development program to Ministries and donors. Second, the launch of a broader skills development program will focus on a broader number of upcoming extractive investments.

Updated September 23, 2013