With an increasing number of refugees and displaced persons around the world, the International Trade Centre (ITC) launched the Refugee Employment and Skills Initiative (RESI) in 2017. RESI is ITC’s operational arm specialised in creating jobs for refugees and host community members through capacity building and connections to domestic and international value chains. Following ITC’s core approach, RESI provides trade-led and market-based solutions to create jobs and generate income for refugees and their hosts to build self-reliance and foster economic resilience. RESI tailors its activities with targeted private and public partnerships, builds strong market connections, and brings capacity building to the next level through relevant network connections and mentorship. With this approach, RESI ensures newly acquired skillsets translate into actual income gains and job creation.RESI follows a two-fold intervention: 1. Promoting the development of commercially valuable skills and market-linkages for refugees and host communities; 2. Supporting local small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to grow value and create economic opportunities for displacement affected populations through increased business. The skills and connections participants gain supports their access to sustainable economic opportunities and builds their confidence and independence. RESI harnesses the productive potential of refugees and host community members to respond to the demands of the local economy and eventually support their re-integration in their country of origin if they return home.RESI innovates with a tailored mentorship and continuous coaching scheme, which complements the training received by refugees and host communities. The mentorship and coaching scheme provides practical guidance and motivational support to help trainees apply the new skills they learnt and are taught how to manage and overcome challenges they might experience. When receiving their first interview, job offer or order, RESI’s team of experts are present to offer guidance, build confidence and educate on the inner workings of procedures and relationships outside of a refugee camp settings.IMPORTANCE OF PARTNERSHIPSRESI partners with carefully selected leading and innovative local social enterprises to harness opportunities for refugees and local communities. Specifically, partners assist in solving key business challenges faced by these populations, particularly the challenge of market information and connection. Collaboration with multiple actors is a key component of ITC’s approach. RESI works with a diverse range of partners to solve key challenges related to displacement contexts. RESI engages leading social enterprises and market partners to harness opportunities for refugees and local communities. This unlocks access to local, regional and global value chains. Launched in 2017, the RESI project in Kenya is implemented in partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and currently works with Somalian and Kenyan youth and women refugees in the Dadaab settlement. In 2018, RESI launched a pilot project for refugees and hosts in the Kakuma camp in north-west Kenya. In 2019, the Initiative will expand in East Africa.Find out more about RESI partners here.FOCUS ON YOUTH, WOMEN & ENTREPRENEURSHIPWith a special focus on enhancing youth employment and entrepreneurship, RESI uses market-based incentives to develop sustainable economic opportunities which are relevant to local and national demand - and that would remain useful in their country of origin or resettlement. So far, RESI has worked with Somali refugee youth and women and Kenyans in the Dadaab camp in north-east Kenya, refugees in the Kakuma refugee camp in north-west Kenya, and with Syrian refugees and Jordanian youth in Jordan. RESI has focused on developing digital skillsets relevant to the global online freelancing job market, assisting creative entrepreneurs establish marketing activities and upgrading the skillsets of artisans to produce contemporary collections and operate as a unified collective. Download the RESI brochure here to find out more about the initiative as a whole.