New Report Outlines Labour Market Needs in Lebanon’s Plastic Sector to Improve Skills Match

بيان صحفي | ٠١ مارس, ٢٠٢٣
BEIRUT (ILO News) – ILO and ALI have launched a skills anticipation survey on the skill gaps in Lebanon’s plastic sector in order to improve market-relevant training programmes and increase workforce employability in the sector.

Lebanon continues to face a serious and increasingly challenging employment and labour market situation. The multiple crises endured by the country have worsened already fragile socio-economic conditions, resulting in heightened levels of unemployment, vulnerability, poverty and informality.

The Lebanon Follow-up Labour Force Survey (CAS-ILO 2022) found that the unemployment rate increased from 11.4 percent in 2018-19 to 29.6 percent in 2022, while the youth unemployment rate (15–24 years old) increased from 23.3 per cent in 2018-2019 to 47.8 per cent in January 2022. The labour force participation rate dropped from 48.8 percent in 2018-2019 to 43.4 percent in 2022; the labour force participation rate for both men and women decreased for all age groups between 2018-2019 and January 2022.

“Investment in human capital in tune with the labour market’s present and future demands is central to offset the immediate and long-term impacts of the multiple crisis the country is facing,” said Peter Rademaker, ILO Deputy Regional Director for Arab States.

“Businesses in Lebanon must be supported to improve their business continuity, resilience and ability to provide decent jobs. They must constantly adapt to the ever-changing world of work, influenced by technological, demographic and climate change, migration, globalization, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the economic crisis. Workers must be equipped with the right skills in order to benefit from opportunities for social and economic progress,” he added.

To mitigate skills mismatch, policy makers, industries and training providers must rely on an efficient mechanism for regular exchange on skills needs to ensure that learners can develop appropriate skills for the future, and inform lifelong policies and programmes that aim to improve workers’ employment status, productivity, wages and well-being.

“The Association of Lebanese Industrialists can play a crucial role in linking the supply side with the actual skills requirements of industrialists to mitigate this mismatch which affects the productivity and growth in various industrial sectors,” said Salim Zeenni, President of ALI.

“Together with the ILO, the Association is establishing a partnership with the Directorate General for Technical and Vocational Education towards ensuring education and training deliver the right skills, facilitating placement of students and trainees in workplace learning, and updating work experience for TVET institution instructors in line with new technologies. This study is the first step in supporting this partnership and aiming to institutionalize within ALI the process for regular anticipation of changing skills needs in the industrial sector,” he added.

“Inclusive and quality education is central in the programming of interventions financed by the Italian Cooperation in Lebanon. In a country overwhelmed by a devastating economic crisis that for ten years has welcomed in its small territory the largest number of refugees per capita in the world, guaranteeing this is a real challenge,” said Alessandra Piermattei, Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) in Lebanon.

“Understanding the skills needs of employers and workers is crucial in order to have a more responsive and quality education sector. AICS is pleased to have contributed to this study, reinforcing the need to train providers in partnership with the private sector to develop fit-for-purpose training,” she added.

The report Skills Anticipation Survey - Plastic Sector presents the findings of skills gaps and skills shortages in the plastic sector. It provides an overview of the sector and workers impacted by the multiple crises in Lebanon, and draws recommendations for improved skills matching and linkages with labour market needs.

Data in the report was compiled using an online skills needs assessment; a considerable resource efficient, quick, and most importantly, effective method for replication to measure the changes in the labour market demand of skills in this and other industrial sectors.

The reports was developed within the framework of the AICS-funded project Improved access to employment opportunities for Lebanese and refugee graduates from skills training (2019-2023) which aims to strengthen the employability of job seekers based on market needs and provide post-training support to graduates in order to improve their chances of acquiring jobs.