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International Youth Day: Could youth training programmes change the tide for young people in conflict-affected countries?

By Ella Holliday

In regions with booming youth populations, there is pressure on economies and societies to generate not only more and better jobs – but also the relevant skills to satisfy them. In conflict-affected countries, providing internships with tangible work experience could be the force that puts young people back in the game after a disrupted education.


A population of untapped potential

The youth of today makes up 1.2 billion people across the globe and almost half of the developing world’s population – a population of under 18s to match the entire population of India.

In countries with increasing proportions of young people, these demographic waves carry the additional pressure to provide education, training and employment. Even before the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 crisis, younger workers were already three times as likely to be unemployed compared to their older counterparts due to their limited work experience or education.

Education and training systems for young people are more essential than ever in response to a demand for increasingly advanced employable skills. With one in five young people globally outside education, employment or training (NEET), more needs to be done to meet the bar in an increasingly competitive market.

Girls hold SDG 8 & 4

CTG strives to promote gender equality in the aid and development sectors with its Female First initiatives.


Promoting Youth Opportunities

CTG is combatting lack of youth training in its countries of operation through its Women in Aid: Internship Programme. This programme aims to engage young women interested in aid, development and gender equality in order to combat the lower rates of female representation throughout the sector. All CTG internship opportunities are paid for in commitment to our gender equality, diversity and inclusion ambitions. By offering tangible work experience and mentorship opportunities, we hope to support them in establishing successful careers in the aid and development sector and beyond.

CTG offers internships in all of its operational countries and is currently engaging the most interns that it has ever had at one time. Interns can testify to the range of skills that mentorship can provide to young professionals.

CTG Interns 2021

CTG’s Interns 2021


Niamh – Dubai

“Straight away, the team at CTG HQ were inclusive and gave me the independence to get on with certain tasks alone. I don’t have totally free rein – there are obviously parameters that I work within – but it’s rewarding to actually be doing something of value to the company. I’ve had internships which were a case of following someone around; this is different, I feel like I’m making a difference. Even if it’s a small 1% difference, when everyone makes a 1% change it becomes a big change that you can make to a project. When it comes to gaining real life skills, interacting with people, learning what it is to see tasks through, be independent, to work hard, to work in a team, to get down and do things… CTG is the right place.”

Shatha – Yemen

“This internship has beena way of building up  my skills, getting experience and also the start of practical work. It’s also been a way to become familiar with the working environment, with co-workers, and to learn how to deal with different personalities as well. This experience is different from simple training, which doesn’t let you practise what you’ve learned. With CTG I have had a chance to challenge myself and see what I can do and what my abilities are. My internship with CTG has opened different doors and opportunities to me and made my CV stronger.”

Amani – Yemen

“This internship has been an extensive learning experience hat has allowed me to gain valuable work experience in HR and recruitment and giving some insight into the humanitarian sector . CTG interns not only gain technical knowledge, but they also learn how to interact with professionals in a workplace setting, gaining soft skills like time management, problem-solving and teamwork.”

Ella – London

“Getting the chance to do an internship at CTG has been an awakening in the importance of female representation in the sector. Men and women have a spectrum of interests and requirements across the globe, and representation in International Development organisations is essential in order to reflect the needs of the vulnerable. I hope that the diversity of the internship programme at CTG represents a standard of sustainability that the whole sector can move towards.”


International Youth Day

The 2021 International Youth Day reminds us that ensuring quality skills development opportunities for youth should remain a top policy priority around the globe. CTG’s goal of fostering youth training and new talent in the aid and development workforce reflects a wider movement towards employment equality and the creation of more prosperous communities worldwide.

Commemorating International Youth Day this year falls to all employers, and we can all move to promote youth training in our communities by launching junior-focused initiatives or simply seeking junior-specific feedback. Think about what you can do in your community to celebrate International Youth Day this year.



Ella Holliday is interning as part of the Communications team at CTG, producing research as well as materials pertaining to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. She is currently working towards a French and Spanish degree at the University of Oxford, and has been drawn to international affairs since moving to Myanmar to teach English in 2019/2020.