Qudra's Skills Training
Measures for socio-economic inclusion of disadvantaged youth in Lebanon
Lebanon, a country of 6 million, today hosts around 1.5 million displaced Syrians. Statistics indicate that the country has the highest per-capita concentration of refugees worldwide, where one person out of four is a refugee. With unemployment and poverty rates already high prior to the refugee influx, the situation in the country continues to be precarious, with extensive skills development needs of both the displaced Syrians and the vulnerable Lebanese. Among many other challenges, unemployment- particularly youth unemployment, which is 3-4 times higher than overall unemployment rate in the country, places considerable strain on host communities, pressuring the competition for jobs and access to resources and services.
The Qudra programme – a regional action financed by the EU Madad Trust Fund and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – tries to address this situation and strives to strengthen the resilience of both the displaced Syrians and members of host communities in Lebanon through different measures. The utmost objective is to improve access to formal and non- formal education and vocational trainings and to enhance certified skills training, particularly for youth and women, for increased educational and economic opportunities.
Line Cooks, Kitchen Helpers, Construction Carpenters, Waiters and Runners
In this endeavour, Qudra programme and Makhzoumi Foundation, a private non-profit Lebanese organisation with a mission to help individuals contribute better to their economic situation and personal growth, have joined forces in May 2017 to provide needs-based, market-oriented and private sector driven short-term skills trainings to crisis-affected populations in Tripoli area.
Between May to August 2017, 73 individuals – aged 16 to 25 – have attended short-term vocational trainings as line cooks, kitchen helpers, construction carpenters, and waiters and runners in real settings. Each course lasted one month with a group of up to 18 students. The selection of these particular courses was an outcome of a thorough analysis conducted by the Makhzoumi Foundation, which demanded meticulous investigation of local labour-market conditions, private sector needs of the Tripoli region, consideration of labour laws for displaced Syrians, and finally selection of participants based on vulnerability criteria.
“Conducting trainings in authentic workshops – such as a real kitchen or a construction site – gives the beneficiaries the best introduction into the profession itself,” says Afsana Rezaie, who works as GIZ Advisor for Qudra in Lebanon, “further, it connects the trainees directly to their potential employers as the trainings are conducted in their settings”. In fact, as a direct result of these trainings and upon receiving training completion certificates accredited by the Ministry of Labour of Government of Lebanon, four of the beneficiaries are now employed. Ahmed Jarwa, 18-year-old Syrian and Tarek Abbara, 17-year-old Syrian are now currently working at Nostra Casa restaurant as kitchen helpers whereas Mohamad Shaghouri, 18-year-old Syrian and Karim Shaghouri, 25-year-old Syrian, are working in the carpentry division of a construction company.