UNICEF and ILO have launched two labor market assessments on the market dynamics and skill gaps in Lebanon with the objective of efficiently responding to market needs, increasing employment and boosting the economy.
The unprecedented impact of the compounded crisis on Lebanon’s labor market has led to the loss of millions of jobs, and young people are among the hardest hit. Prior to the crisis, half of all employed young people in Lebanon were working in sectors that were at high risk of job losses, while almost a quarter of all young people were not in employment, education or training. The disruptions in education and training and limited prospects for work are expected to increase labor inactivity and NEET rates (rates of those not in employment, education or training) even further.
“Young people in Lebanon represent over 30 percent of the population, and the crisis is preventing them from investing their potential in the economic development of their country,” said Ettie Higgins, UNICEF Deputy Representative. “UNICEF is working across all communities in Lebanon, together with young people, to identify the market needs and provide market-based training – with a special focus on women. Alongside partners, we empower young people to develop their capacities and find jobs or income generating activities to fully contribute to society.”
“In light of the multiple crises Lebanon now faces, we need to quickly transition to a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient economy, and help create the workforce that the country’s labor market needs,” said Ruba Jaradat, ILO Regional Director for Arab States. “Thus, we must adopt a human-centered approach to skills development – in particular to equip young people and workers with the right skills – both technical and soft skills. We must also support entrepreneurship and self-employment opportunities to strengthen livelihoods and create new opportunities for decent work – while providing businesses with training and technical support to improve their business continuity, resilience and ability to provide decent jobs,” she added.
The publication Synthesis of the crisis impact on the Lebanese labor market and potential business, employment and training opportunities presents the findings of a national-level assessment. It provides an overview of the sectors and workers impacted by the multiple crises in Lebanon and recommends potential business and training opportunities in response to the situation. Building on research conducted by ILO, UNICEF and other institutions on the impact of the crisis on the labor market and economic sectors, the report draws recommendations to alleviate the economic and social pressure on households, workers and businesses.
At the local level, the publication Community-based market assessment for skills development and economic empowerment presents interventions under specific sectors that could provide business opportunities across most (if not all) surveyed regions. In addition, it provides recommendations on the most relevant training programmes to the identified occupation and skills gaps in the covered regions.
The community-based market assessment was conducted in seven vulnerable regions of Lebanon: Chtoura and surroundings; Halba and surroundings; Wadi-Khaled; Minieh and Donnieh; North Beqaa (Hermel, Qaa, Labweh); Saida; and Marjeyoun and Hasbaya. It was developed in collaboration with eight UNICEF partners (ANERA, Rene Moawad Foundation, Akkar Network for Development, Leb Relief, LOST, DoTrust, AVSI) and it followed ILO’s TREE methodology (Training for Rural Economic Empowerment). TREE is a programme designed to support the transition of men and women in rural or semi-urban areas into decent work using a community-based approach to income generation and skills development. By linking employment and income-generating opportunities with training and post-training support, TREE serves as a vehicle for the promotion of sustainable rural livelihoods, with engagement from relevant institutional partners. Furthermore, its focus on disadvantaged groups, such as women, young people and persons with disabilities, ensures that growth is inclusive.
The two reports were developed within the framework of the ILO-UNICEF joint programme “Towards improved formal and non-formal technical and vocational education and training in Lebanon” (2017-2022) which aims to enhance the TVET system in the country with the view to ensure a fair and successful transition of youth into the labour market.