European College of Hospitality, Renewable energy and Aviation (ECHRA, hereafter) is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) institution in corporation with Somaliland Ministry of Education and Higher Studies established in 2014. The College is a Technical and Vocational Education Training Institute licensed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Studies with the mandate of offering Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) in Somaliland. The College accepts secondary school graduates from all over Somaliland. We aim to empower the youth especially girls. So through our programs, we provide the tools and know- how that talented, smart young professionals need to realize their dreams and ambitions, and ensure that they are given full access to employment.
The College is equipped with training facilities, update curriculum, professional trainers, and has succeeded to produce students on Aviation, Renewable Energy, and Hospitality skills such as hotel operations, customer care, entrepreneurship, events management and travel and tourism.
Since its inauguration, 208 students have graduated from the Hospitality Management Department, 17 students from the Renewable Energy Department while 27 students graduated from the Aviation Department. A key part of the
certificated training program at the college is having firsthand experience of team work, something that cannot be learnt in a classroom setting. Throughout our courses, we provide the necessary professional knowledge and skills and develop the correct attitudes for managerial competence and career development. The goal is to give all students a full management training program recognized by five-star hotel companies before students graduate.
Young people between the ages of 18 to 30 represent 1.5million of the total population of the country of which 70.04% are unemployed according to UNFPA national survey of 2014. The unemployment is mostly linked to the absence of employable skills rather than to the absence of employment opportunities and, this is consequently, relates to absence of professional technical and vocational schools or colleges required to produce professional technicians.
Since 1991, education sector in Somaliland started from scratches and has significantly improved in both public and private institutions. The growth of school population in both public and private sectors can be inferred from the increase of student enrollments in secondary schools during the scholastic years from 2011/2012 to 2013/2014 from 19,146 to 43,502, and annual growth rate of 9%. The growth of secondary schools has correspondingly resulted in the multiplication of universities; there are more than 30 universities in Somaliland since 1998.Thus, the yearly student graduates from secondary schools and universities are estimated to 17,000 to 9000 respectively.
However, the increase of secondary and universities is not accompanied by increase of technical and vocational schools in both public and private sectors. The only one public technical school existing in country is in Hargeisa, the capital city and takes a limited number of secondary school graduates in the country while all other students enroll in privately owned universities. Absence of technical and vocation institutions in country can be associated with the lack of funds by the government due to heavy capital intensive investment required for their establishments.
There is a high market demand for technical and vocational employable skills in the country. However, due to the absence of local professional technicians, public and private sectors employers recruit technicians from outside the country. These include Africans, Arabs, Indians, Philippines and Djiboutian. They provide hospitality operations such as Aviation Operations, Renewable Energy Operations, Travel and Tourism Management, Food & Beverages Production, Food & Beverages Service, Customer Care Management, Front Office Operation, Events Management Operation among others. This is an indicative of the existence of employment opportunities in country but the absence of professional skills in the local market