Empowering Networks and Activation for Building Long-term Employment (ENABLE)

The programme, funded by the European Union (EU), focuses on providing livelihoods opportunities to enhance the economic capacity of the most vulnerable and marginalized communities residing in targeted areas in Lebanon. It will provide integrated employment services and short‐term employment opportunities in infrastructure construction/rehabilitation projects, while increasing linkages between social protection and employment activation.

Programme Background

The Programme seeks to address Lebanon's worsening employment and labour market challenges, resulting from the financial crisis that began in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic. With weak labour market institutions and deficient job demand, especially in high-value sectors, Lebanon faces high unemployment rates, particularly among youth and women, along with high informality levels.

Programme activities aim to provide alternative livelihoods to selected Syrian refugees and host communities, focusing on women, through employment-related services, skills training, short-term local employment in local employment-intensive infrastructure programs (EIIP), and entrepreneurship and enterprise development. The International Labour Organization (ILO) will collaborate with various stakeholders, including municipalities, UN agencies, trade unions, NGOs, and business organizations to implement the programme, aligning with EU and UN cooperation frameworks.

Programme Objectives

Empowering Vulnerable Populations: ENABLE's primary objective is to empower vulnerable populations in Lebanon, including youth, women, and individuals with disabilities, by providing them with sustainable and alternative livelihood options. Through a combination of employment-related services, comprehensive skills training, and short-term employment opportunities in local labour-intensive infrastructure projects, ENABLE equips participants with the tools and resources they need to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Fostering Decent Work Opportunities: At the core of ENABLE's mission is the promotion of decent work opportunities. The programme focuses on creating employment options that uphold the principles of decent work by ensuring the delivery of market-relevant skills training, offering career guidance, providing financial education, supporting budding entrepreneurs, and facilitating short-term job placements. ENABLE strives to enhance the overall quality of employment, emphasizing decent working conditions across various sectors such as construction, care, agriculture, and more, thus contributing to improved livelihoods and well-being for participants.

Bridging Social Protection and Economic Inclusion: ENABLE actively bridges the gap between social protection measures and active labour market initiatives. By facilitating the integration of social protection beneficiaries into the labour market and offering targeted support to vulnerable populations, the programme fosters economic inclusion and resilience. ENABLE's comprehensive approach aims to create a seamless transition from social assistance to decent employment opportunities, ultimately reducing vulnerability and promoting economic stability among Lebanon's most marginalized communities.

Contributing to infrastructure stability and development in Lebanon: ENABLE actively collaborates with local authorities to identify job opportunities in the construction and infrastructure sectors that align with the skills of the beneficiaries. The target is to employ unskilled or low-skilled labour to deliver quality infrastructure and local decent work creation, while also building the capacity of public sector and private contractors to promote employment in the construction sector. ENABLE will also ensure the durability and sustainability of the constructed infrastructure.

Key Activities

ILO’s activities within the programme will aim to strengthen the link between active labour market initiatives and social protection measures to promote sustainable employment activation, economic inclusion, and job promotion for vulnerable populations. To achieve this, the ILO will focus on the following areas of work:
  1. Comprehensive Skills Empowerment: Programme key activities involve delivering comprehensive skills development and training initiatives tailored to the specific needs and market demands of beneficiaries. This includes vocational training and soft skills development. By equipping participants with a diverse skill set, ENABLE ensures they are well-prepared for sustainable employment opportunities.
  2. Short-Term Job Placements in Local Infrastructure Projects: ENABLE will actively engage beneficiaries in short-term employment opportunities through the implementation of employment-intensive infrastructure projects. These projects will not only provide immediate income but also enhance participants' practical skills, contributing to their overall employability.
  3. Empowering Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment: ENABLE is dedicated to empowering vulnerable individuals interested in entrepreneurship and self-employment. Through targeted training, ongoing support, and access to essential resources, beneficiaries with entrepreneurial aspirations will receive the guidance they need to launch their businesses successfully. ENABLE recognizes the potential for economic independence and job creation within this sphere, fostering self-reliance and economic resilience among program participants.

Collaborative Approach

ENABLE operates in close collaboration with Lebanese ministries, local authorities, and the Employment Intensive Infrastructure programme (EIIP). Collaboration with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international agencies specializing in employment activation and social protection further enhances the initiative's impacts.