Afghanistan Workforce Development Program (AWDP)

  • Value: $72 million


USAID’s Afghanistan Workforce Development Program (AWDP) complements the development goals of the Afghan and U.S. governments by supporting key growth opportunities in construction, information and communications technology, mining, public-private partnership and business management.  The program seeks to increase job placements and wages for 25,000 Afghan citizens – at least 25 percent are women – by strengthening the labor pool in major economic areas and addressing the twin problems of high unemployment and scarcity of technically-skilled Afghan labor and trained business managers. It does this by providing quality technical and business education, training, job placement and support services. 

Budget components are handled in close collaboration with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training department in the Ministry of Education. The program’s wider goal is to increase highly-qualified, demand-driven labor in key economic sectors by improving the quality of and access to training in market-driven skills, a goal shared by the Ministry.


The program uses a four-step process to determine what skilled labor is needed and how to create it:

  1. Labor market demand assessment: Economic sector assessments determine what skills the private sector needs. The focus is on the mid-career/semi-professional level.
  2. Curriculum development or adaptation: Curricula is designed or adapted with Afghan training providers to meet skills for a proven labor market demand from private sector employers.
  3. Competency-based training: Grants are provided to help local organizations deliver training in specific areas that businesses need. 
  4. Employment placement services: Pre-employment training, job-placement services, and follow-up services are provided to trainees to help them find jobs.


  • Completed 43 short-term labor market-driven training programs.  Another 24 grants and 11 contracts are currently in-progress for more training programs.
  • Provided 21,646 mid-career/semi-professional employees and job seekers – 36 percent are female – with technical and business management skills.  Training areas included how to use financial management software, web design and electrician skills.
  • Found jobs or got promotions with salary increases for 13,439 training program participants--36 percent are women. 
  • Helped establish four profitable job-training and placement service companies, based on a model developed with AWDP support.

Last updated: November 04, 2015

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