Rewiring Lebanon’s Labor Market
“I had no idea that I would be passionate about this field, but it’s so practical — and eventually, it’s lucrative. Electricians are always needed!”
The demand for skilled labor in Lebanon consistently exceeds the size of the talent pool. Youth in Lebanon have long regarded vocational education as a secondary route in preparing for their careers. Many who do work in vocational fields never set foot in a vocational college, instead getting their start under the supervision of an older family member.
However, this is beginning to change as more youth pursue trade jobs. The economic collapse is contributing to an increase in Lebanese youth seeking employment in fields like plumbing, electrical maintenance and construction (an industry that was previously a mostly Syrian-dominated field).
Anera’s nation-wide vocational education program is perfectly positioned to help youth weather the economic crisis that their country is witnessing. Anera’s courses provide youth with skills-based knowledge, hands-on training and paid internships or other work experience.
With the support of UNICEF and in partnership with the Culture & Sciences Association in Saida, in southern Lebanon, Anera has organized an accelerated electrical maintenance course. Twenty-two young people from Saida and surrounding areas have enrolled.
How are these trainees feeling about the course and their future plans? Let’s see what they have to say!
“I studied business administration but I just haven't been able to find a job in this economy. Thanks to my teachers, I now consider myself a skilled junior electrician."
“I studied business administration but I just haven't been able to find a job in this economy. Thanks to my teachers, I now consider myself a skilled junior electrician. “I had no idea that I would be passionate about this field, but it’s so practical — and eventually, it’s lucrative. Electricians are always needed!”
— Ahmad, a 22-year-old Lebanese student
“I decided to join this course because of the difficult living conditions that my family – and almost everyone in Lebanon – is going through. I want to learn skills that allow me to find more job opportunities in the future. I love that the teachers here at this center teach us about skills we need to enter the job market – things beyond electrical repair, like communicating with clients and managing our time."
“I now have a new ambition: to establish my own business in electrical maintenance.”
— Tarek, 22, a Lebanese student from the Sirob area, outside of Saida
“I am here to build my career. After completing the course, I will try to find work with an expert electrician. I want to gain enough experience to be able to travel abroad and find a decent job. Unless Lebanon gets better... then I would stay here.”
— Nour, an 18-year-old Lebanese student from Saida
Mohamad Kiblawi, an electrical engineer supervising the course, says,