In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kazakhstan’s workforce is finding renewed hope and stability through skills training programs, new business opportunities in rural areas, and apprenticeship programs backed by the ADB-supported COVID-19 Solidarity Fund. 

This initiative has brightened the prospects for thousands of people, including women, people with disabilities, and those who faced unemployment due to the pandemic.

In the face of adversity, Kazakhstan's workforce is rising, armed with new skills and the promise of a brighter future.

Transcript

New skills are helping Kazakhstan’s workforce bounce back from the pandemic.  

Thousands of women, people with disabilities, and workers who lost their jobs have benefitted from skills training through the ADB-supported COVID-19 Solidarity Fund. 

Zhumagul is one of around 7,000 women mentored through the Women Entrepreneurship Development Center supported by the Fund.

Now, she has expanded her small toy production business. 
 
Zhumagul Almukhan, Entrepreneur 
“Our sales increased, which is the most important. The production volume increased two-fold, because we set up everything correctly and started calculating everything. We removed many toys which did not appear to generate income. We kept only the items that were in most demand and generated a higher income margin.”

The project also provided business opportunities in rural areas.
  
In Kuryk village in western Kazakhstan, unemployed women were trained in felt toy production.

Saule Salikhova, Chairperson, Regional Businesswomen Council
“The average participant is a 45 to 50-year-old woman who is unemployed and has several children. They were trained in teamwork, social entrepreneurship, and marketing. Making a toy is the minimum. You also need to make it eye-catching and environmentally safe to meet market demand. Business skills are also essential for rural women.” 

The production started in small quantities to test sales and ensure sustainability.

ADB and UNDP partnered with Kameda Public Foundation on a 3-month apprenticeship program to help unemployed people and vulnerable groups adapt to the post-COVID labor market.

Andrey Agapov is one of 260 beneficiaries who acquired new skills and got a job.  

Andrey Agapov, Computer science teacher 
“I trained here for 3 months. I am now working at the Kazakh Society of the Blind "Zhyly Uya" as a computer science teacher for people with disabilities and lack of sight. I want to express my deep gratitude for organizing this training.”

ADB’s support has helped provide livelihood opportunities beyond the pandemic. 

Nariman Mannapbekov, Country Director, ADB Kazakhstan Resident Mission
“This project has helped people across Kazakhstan acquire new skills, generate income, and contribute to the country’s economic development. ADB will continue to support programs that promote social and economic inclusion of vulnerable groups.”

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