Addressing Youth Unemployment in Lebanon
These are some of the questions that were posed and discussed at the consultative meeting with experts and members of the NET-MED Youth Working Group in Lebanon, held on April 15, 2016. This meeting was part of the Skills Forecasting Initiative for developing a simulation model to anticipate future skills needed in Lebanon. This initiative is being implemented by a national consultation firm with the support of UNESCO, as part of a 10-month project covering 8 countries including Lebanon.
21 participants, representing 11 NGOs and civil society groups in Lebanon, participated in the event. Its main aim was to inform stakeholders about the methodological approach being developed and implemented at the national level, and to consult with them on their capacity building needs with regards to training and employment in Lebanon.
The meeting was very lively and interactive, with diverse views and experiences being shared on labor market and employment issues in Lebanon. The participants expressed their appreciation for being meaningfully engaged in such vital consultations and provided valuable insights and factual information based on their experiences on the ground with youth in the country.
The discussions mainly revolved around the advantages of developing the skills forecasting model in Lebanon in collaboration with different stakeholders, and the importance of such consultations with NGOs that are working directly with young people in local communities.
“In order to improve youth status and employment opportunities in Lebanon, there is a need to support and reinforce the NGOs, as they have the most direct contact with youth and provide a link between youth, the public sector and government institutions,” said Elsie Edde, from the organization GENERIS.
Participants also discussed existing challenges in the employment market in Lebanon, which the model can help to address, especially regarding the difficulties accessing and obtaining official data on labor statistics, the imbalance between demand and supply in the employment market, and poor career orientation in Lebanese schools.
“Such a model would enable youth to see that opportunities do exist for them and help them to make informed decisions related to their education and employment. It is simply common sense that such information is available. It’s also important for youth to learn about innovative technologies that will become important in a few years’ time,” said Abigail Hill, Project Officer at the Hayya Bina.
A questionnaire was also distributed amongst participants to gather information on the capacity-building needs of NGOs in order to inform the development of this model and to support evidence-based decision-making in training and employment in Lebanon.
In the next phase, a qualitative analysis of different stakeholders will be performed to further guide the development of the skills forecasting model. The projections of the model will eventually be delineated in a communication campaign that seeks to build on the achievements and establish future objectives.
The skills forecasting model being developed would serve as a prospective tool to inform decisions of different stakeholders, including policy-makers, social organizations, NGOs, and international organizations, as well as career guidance for youth in Lebanon.
Activities building skills among youth organizations and young journalists; to enhance youth representation in media and promote freedom of expression, media and information literacy and youth-generated media content.
Activities joining youth organizations, employment experts and different national stakeholders to engage in dialogue and work together on unemployment solutions and skills needs.
Activities empowering youth to participate in the communal and national development, revision and implementation of national youth strategies and public policies.