What We Do

Our students are among the most highly educated in the region. Since the 1960s, girls have made up around half of UNRWA students.

Vocational training

UNRWA Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Youth Programme

The UNRWA technical and vocational education and training and youth programme (TVET) provides practical training to young Palestine refugees. It equips them with the relevant skills and expertise for Middle Eastern labour markets. 

The Agency runs eight vocational and technical training centres with a capacity about  7,500 trainees. Three types of courses are offered: 

  1. Semi-professional courses of a two-year duration (technician level) are offered at the post-secondary school level for those who have successfully completed year 12 of schooling.
  2. Trade courses (vocational) of a one-year (skilled labourer level) and two-year (craftsman level) duration. These are offered at the post-preparatory school level for those who have successfully completed at least years 9 or 10 years of schooling (depending on the system of the host countries).
  3. Short-term courses: In addition to regular courses, short-term courses are available. These aim to prepare young Palestine refugees for employment in sectors where there is a high demand in the labor market.

A range of specializations at different levels, are covered, such as mechanics, building construction, plumbing, refrigeration, electrical installations, auto electrical and electronics, communication systems, mobile maintenance, hair dressing and fashion design, graphic design, accounting, assistant pharmacist, nursing, medical records and physiotherapy

These courses are organised in response to local needs. Most trainees succeed in securing employment.

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The programme is run by the TVET and Youth Division in UNRWA HQ (Amman). It provides strategic leadership, professional guidance and assumes overall technical responsibility for the planning, management, development and restructuring of all UNRWA’s training courses.


UNRWA provides professional and career guidance for students to help them make an informed decision about their future career according to their aptitude, interests, skills and available job opportunities. 

It also equips the TVET students with employability skills and provides placement services for its graduates. Surveys of UNRWA graduate trainees routinely show high success rates in finding jobs or self-employment within one year of graduation.

Graduates of UNRWA training institutions also tend to achieve very high pass rates in state certifying examinations compared to graduates of local institutions.


Despite their overall good performance, UNRWA training centres face challenges because of the Agency’s budgetary constraints, including:

  • Only limited places are available despite an increased number of applicants each year
  • New courses can only be introduced as replacements for existing courses
  • Course curricula need redesigning to cope with the new advancements and emerging needs of the labour market.
  • Trainers need training to keep up with new equipment and workplace practices
  • Outdated training equipment of some courses

Between 1954 and 2018, nearly 114 600 Palestine refugee men and women have graduated from UNRWA training centres and 6540 from education science faculties in  Jordan and the West Bank. These graduates’ active involvement in the economic life of the Middle East has contributed to social stability and partially offset the high unemployment rates affecting many refugee communities.