The State Minister termed it as the first step towards employment
Young representatives from ethnic minority groups living in Georgia will have a chance to undergo internships at the country’s state agencies – the State Ministry for Reconciliation and Civic Equality reported on its official website.
Candidates will be selected by a special commission and will be sent for an internship at state and local government agencies for a period of 1-6 months.
“We give the ethnic minority youth an opportunity to develop their skills, to show their knowledge and, most importantly, to take the first step towards employment so that they can be involved in different areas of the country’s life and be successful in their professional careers,” said Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, the Georgian State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality.
The internship program will be available to those individuals who have already completed or are currently undergoing the ‘1 + 4’ educational program that provides training in the Georgian language.
The ‘1+4’ higher education preferential program for ethnic minority entrants was launched in the 2010-2011 academic years. As part of the program ethnic minority applicants are enrolled in HEI’s intensive Georgian language preparatory course upon taking a general skills exam in their native language (i.e. in Armenian, Azerbaijani, Ossetian or Abkhazian). After completing a one-year preparatory course in the Georgian language, the students pursue studying at the BA level provided that they gain 60 credits.
The ethnic minority project is carried out by the Office of the Georgian State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, jointly with the UN Association of Georgia (UNAG) and the National Bureau of Public Service. The project aims at facilitating civil integration of the ethnic minority youth.
• According to 2014’s population census data, ethnic minorities account for 13.2% of the overall population in Georgia. Azerbaijanis make the largest ethnic minority group – a total of 233 000 people or 6.3% of Georgia’s overall population. Armenians rank second, with 168.1 thousand ethnic Armenians (4.5%) residing in Georgia.
• Georgia’s Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti regions are densely populated by ethnic Azerbaijanis and Armenians (respectively). The majority of the population in those regions have poor command of the official language in Georgia – Georgian, which hampers their integration into the community and restricts their access to education, information, justice, electoral rights etc.
Photo: REUTERS/ David Mdzinarishvili