Vocational School to Create Opportunities for Unemployed Iraqis

In April 2012, a Swedish school for service technicians opened in Erbil in northern Iraq. The establishment of the school is the result of close cooperation between Scania, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the United Nations, EF Education First and the Kurdish Regional Government’s Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The objective is to gradually make the school a technological centre supplying highly skilled labour such as service technicians, parts managers, accounting staff and marketing personnel to the entire region.

Vocational School to Create Opportunities for Unemployed Iraqis

The Swedish Academy for Training, based in Erbil, the regional capital of Kurdistan, officially opened in April 2012 by training almost one hundred young Iraqis. The academy was established as part of a joint collaboration between Sida, truck manufacturer Scania, UK-based Education First which provides it with an e-learning platform for language training, UNIDO and the Kurdistan Regional Government. The academy offers training in basic mechanics, computing and English for students from all parts of Iraq. Courses in advanced mechanics, driver training, and sales and marketing will be added further on. The academy targets unemployed Iraqis under the age of 30 and almost all of the teachers are from the region.

The project aims to develop and reshape the skills and knowledge of Iraqi's youth and young adult to expand their access to professional jobs and improve work ability in the fields of logistics, manufacturing, and heavy machine maintenance such as engines and trucks. This will provide the beneficiaries with new income generation opportunities and increase their chance of employment, as well as will help providing professional service to the community.

After graduation, the academy will help connect the students with Scania which has a maintenance center in Erbil and other companies in the region. The academy will train far more mechanics than Scania needs and the students will not be tied to the company.

The establishment of the Swedish Academy for Training was made possible through financial assistance from Sida, which is investing SEK 20 million over a four-year period. The operations are supervised by UNIDO together with the Kurdish Regional Government’s Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, which is also providing premises and paying part of the personnel costs. Scania is contributing certified teachers and equipment for the training of service technicians, while EF Education First will be providing free access to its online English language school.


  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)

    Funding Agencies
    Staff size: 501-1000

    Swedish development cooperation is part of a global cooperation in which Sweden is one of many participants. In order to carry out its work, Sida cooperates with Swedish government agencies,...

  • Scania

    Goods Supplier
    Sweden | Staff size: 501-1000

    Scania is a leading manufacturer of heavy trucks and buses as well as industrial and marine engines. The company also markets and sells a broad range of service-related products and financing...

  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

    United States | Staff size: 1001-5000

    The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization...

  • Education First (EF)

    Service Providers
    Switzerland | Staff size: 501-1000

    Education First or EF was founded in 1965 by entrepreneur Bertil Hult. EF is a privately-held company with 15 divisions that offer a range of educational programs from language training,...

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Key Information

LocationIraq, North Africa and Middle East
  • Start Date 2012
ValueEUR 2.3 Million