Skills and Entrepreneurship Development Program is one of the major adopted and implemented programs of DEC among the four core programs. The aim of this program is to support the development of market-relevant technical skills and entrepreneurship skills that improves the livelihoods of economically poor and socially disadvantaged youth and women to diversify their income opportunities in a diversified value chain development. In order to fulfill its aim, DEC deploys people-centered, multi-stakeholder approaches, thereby building partnerships and capacity through facilitation, innovation, and technical assistance, as well as alliances building and networking for knowledge, learning, and advocacy.

Youth and women unemployment is a major concern of Ethiopia because it has negative effects on the welfare of young people, and may also adversely affect the economic performance and social stability of the country. Thus, job creation for a rapidly growing labor force has continued as one of the most pressing development challenges that Ethiopia faces today.

DEC as a development organization is contributing to support the government’s effort in addressing the issue of youth and women employment and livelihood diversification through the promotion of skills and entrepreneurship development. Addressing the problem of unemployment and livelihood diversification of socially, economically and geographically disadvantaged youth and women need a comprehensive and innovative frameworks. By considering this issue in to account; DEC explicitly included the youth and women skills and entrepreneurship development issues in its strategic plan of 2018 – 2022 to develop the skills of youth and women and also DEC has formally written and developed skills and entrepreneurship development position paper. This position paper not only gives direction for the organization in practice but also holds the organization accountable about the issue of employability skills for youths. Addressing the employment agenda is fundamental for sustained growth to enhance labor productivity and the future of employment expansion in Ethiopia will succeed with the strong involvement and collaboration of private sector and non-governmental sectors.

DEC has ample experience on implementation of technical and vocational skills training for livelihood diversification and DEC has a skills training and production centers in Bahir dar, Bedele and Adulala (Liben Chikuala) districts. The centers are established to provide market-relevant skills training for youths and women who have not the opportunity to access vocational training because of they lack to fulfill entry requirements and cannot pay to continue the skills training because of their poverty (they come from low-class family).

Currently, DEC provides skill training in its own skill training and production centers found in Bahir dar, Bedele and Adulala (Liben Chikuala) districts. DEC is also working on youth employable skill training with five TVET colleges in north wollo zone, south wollo zone and Oromiya special zone of Amhara region namely Kemisse, Kombolcha, Dessie, Woldia and Kobo by SINCE project funded by European Union and contracted by Italian embassy in  Addis Ababa.