The picture of vocational education and training (VET) in Lebanon has become much clearer thanks to the Torino Process. That’s because there are ‘more analytical factors taken into account’ says Torino Process coordinator, Georges Kalouche, an advisor at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Beirut.
In Lebanon, the Torino Process is coordinated by the ministry with the involvement of public and private VET stakeholders. Kalouche sums up the benefit in three words:
‘Lifelong, Jobs and Participatory.’
‘Lifelong education means education not only for a certificate or degree, but continuous training throughout your career.’
‘Jobs, or providing work for VET graduates in the labour market is, in my opinion, the ultimate goal of vocational education and training.
‘The process is participatory – all VET stakeholders from the public and private sectors are participating in the improvement of VET.’
The level of young people graduating from VET in Lebanon has improved alongside the stronger focus on the sector, Kalouche adds, giving them ‘better potential for employment.’
The main priorities for the future are: refocusing the Higher Council for VET towards the role of the private sectors and expanding the national network of VET career centres. Another key aim is the establishment of a national Labour Market Information System.
Rabih Sabra, Director General of Lebanon’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, agrees that VET should more closely align with the labour market.
Businesses in Lebanon suffer from the ‘absence of a national VET strategy and formal frameworks to engage employers and social partners to contribute to VET governance.’
There is a ‘need to systematically update VET curricula and qualifications to meet dynamic labour market demand and the evolving need for competences,’ he says, noting the ‘aggressive competition of Syrian manpower’, which he says is ‘skilful and cheap.’
One to note is the Mitsulift company scheme, where technical school students are enrolled for one-year apprenticeships and employed after completing their training.
‘The importance of this scheme is that the private sector needed the project and even funded it,’ Kalouche says, adding: ‘This project could be cloned into different areas within the economy, as it reflects the synergy created between the private and public sectors through labour market supply and demand.’
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