MEPI-funded Project Equips Hundreds of Vulnerable Lebanese Youth with Employment skills

Lebanese Youth SEEK (Strengthening Employability and Enhancing Knowledge) Jobs is a unique project in which the private sector played a strong role in the development of employment programs and trainings that allowed 125 vulnerable youth from the North of Lebanon to gain valuable life and employment skills and subsequently find employment.

In the first phase of the program, the implementer formed partnerships with a number of businesses from the local hospitality sector.  These businesses provided significant input into the curricula design and committed to providing the youth with experience-building internships.  Moreover, the SEEK project coordinated the participant trainings with the local technical school to amplify the abilities of each participant.

Following 15 months of training and internships, all of the participants had significantly strengthened their capabilities and increased their employability.  In fact, more than 75 found permanent jobs in the hospitality sector immediately after the program.  Many more are in the pipeline to receive jobs soon since several employers have committed to hiring from the pool of trainees once a vacancy becomes available (Hajj Ali, Baytouna and Dar El Amar restaurants in Tripoli), when recruiting for new branches (Roadster Diner – Batroun), as well as for seasonal positions during the summer months (Shalalat El Nour).

This pilot project, which received significant positive feedback from private sector stakeholders, demonstrates the value of the private sector’s direct engagement in workforce development.  The commitment of employers to hire qualified individuals that have been trained to match their needs added to a successful program outcome, and helped integrate vulnerable youth into the economy.

In addition, Safadi Foundation issued a “Workforce Investment Report” in participation with the private sector. The report included an analysis of the economic situation in Tripoli including challenges faced during the project and recommendations from the private sector that will help build a strategy for the Foundation’s future projects.