More than 4,000 Palestinian youth have benefited from career guidance services through Youth Entrepreneurship Development (YED), a five-year initiative of the International Youth Foundation (IYF) carried out with funding from the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) West Bank and Gaza Mission. The initiative is part of IYF’s global focus on preparing today's young people for jobs and livelihoods. 

Last week alone, 14 educators representing four universities and nine youth-serving institutions participated in an intensive training course through which they will be certified as Tamheed™ Career Advisors. Tamheed is an online psychometric assessment that provides an analysis of youth and job seekers’ personalities and suitable career paths. In 2012, IYF partnered with Silatech, the Qatari-based social enterprise, to provide certification and access to the Tamheed career education assessment in an effort to expand youth’s access to high-quality career advice. 

“The field of career guidance is still very nascent in Palestine and in the Middle East as a whole,” explains Mohammed AIMbaid, IYF Country Director for Palestine. “Across the board, educational providers at the high school and university levels lack systematic approaches and best practices to help young people make informed decisions about their futures. Integrating professional psychometric testing into career guidance programs is one such initiative that YED is introducing as part of its efforts to build the capacity of its partners in the area of career guidance and youth employability.” 

Tamheed’s two assessments measure each candidate’s cognitive ability (i.e., literacy and numeracy) and personality. These assessments have been designed especially for use by Arab youth and are available in Arabic, French, and English. 

Over the past year, IYF and Silatech have trained more than 50 individuals to become certified Tamheed counselors. These individuals have already provided support to nearly 1,000 youth to select a career path based on real market needs and their individual skills and work preferences. In 2014, YED plans to expand the Tamheed services to additional universities and marginalized communities, where youth have even more limited access to career education services.

In addition, YED’s School to Career activities, conducted in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE), have provided more than 2,100 secondary school students with career education support, including job shadowing opportunities and visits to universities and vocational training centers.