Final Report Presentation and Closing Ceremony of the Four-Month Youth Internship Program (YIP)

March 31, 2023

First cohort of the youth internship program (YIP)

Julia Antonio Sarmento Belo/UNDP Timor-Leste

Dili, Timor-Leste (March 30, 2023) – On Thursday, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) conducted a final report presentation and closing ceremony for the first cohort of the youth internship program (YIP) under the Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Skills (YEES) project funded by Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the government of Timor-Leste through the Ministry of Tourism, Commerce and Industry (MTCI), and UNDP in partnering with the Secretary for Vocational Training and Employment (SEFOPE) The goal of YIP is to provide interns with on-the-job experience, relevant knowledge, and soft skills to increase their employment access. Through Batch I of YIP, 54 recently graduated university students were employed by 16 host institutions as follows: Community Housing, CRS, ETO, EV2tl, JSMP, Quinta Portugal, PESO, Corner Store Network, Ministry of Health, MTCI, Telkomcel, Media One Timor, Fundasaun Assa, ACELDA, Jaymall, and Timor Plaza. After completion of their internship, they made final report presentations and share the results and recommendations for improvement in the upcoming batch. In addition to this, the interns also shared the technical knowledge they have learned throughout the internship program. 


Furthermore, in the closing ceremony, 53 interns were awarded certificates of recognition from each of the host entities as well as from SEFOPE and UNDP for their participation in the internship program for 4 months. This event was attended by H.E. Mr. Alarico do Rosario - Secretary of SEFOPE, H.E. Mr. Hong Jinum - Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, Ms. Adeline Carrier - Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP, Jose Santos – program manager of KOICA, and all host institutions for the internship program.


In his remarks, H.E. Mr. Alarico, Secretary of SEFOPE, emphasized that SEFOPE is committed to supporting the employment and professional development of Timorese youth through various programs and initiatives. He also urged the interns to keep learning, growing, and improving their skills, so they can be prepared for future employment opportunities. 


The state secretary also called on employers to continue supporting the YIP program by providing meaningful work opportunities and guidance to interns. He noted that this partnership between the public and private sectors is crucial in addressing youth unemployment in Timor-Leste.


Further, Mr. Hong Jinum, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea acknowledges the importance of empowering and investing in the youth to ensure the sustainable growth and development of Timor-Leste. He emphasizes the crucial role that these interns play in shaping the country's future and expresses his appreciation for the Korean government's support through the YEES project. Overall, Mr. Hong Jinum's speech highlights the significant impact that this program has on the interns, the local businesses, and the country as a whole.


The first cohort officially ended their four-month internship that started on 18 November 2022 until 18 March 2023 which benefited 53 interns (28 women and 26 men) placed at 16 different host institutions. Among these interns, 12 interns have successfully obtained regular jobs and the other 9 interns are in the hiring process. 


Meanwhile, in the closing ceremony of the youth internship program, Ms. Adeline in her speech emphasizes that “it is very important to support the youth to boost the economy of Timor-Leste”. She noted that one of the major reasons for the high unemployment rate in Timor-Leste is the limited opportunity of being employed. Therefore, the joint commitment is basically to improve the current employment landscape by providing employment access so that recent graduates can be equipped with the relevant skills and experience to strive in their future careers.


Ms. Adeline also ended her speech with sincere gratitude for the strong willingness and support from all host institutions in implementing this internship activity. 


Moving forward, UNDP through the YEES project will provide career counseling to all interns regardless of receiving job offers. This counseling will provide the resources such as assisting in job searches, creating resumes, and preparing for interviews that will help to be prepared academically for professional success and in taking the next step toward career goals. 


Contact Information: Hunjai LEE, Project Manager of YEES Project, UNDP (UN House, Caicoli Street, Dili Timor