Building skills and empowering young people in Lebanon – Rabih’s story

The ILO has provided market-relevant skills training for Lebanese nationals and Syrian refugees to improve their employment prospects.

Feature | 02 October 2022

“I left school when I was 16 years old and I enrolled in a technical institute to learn how to become an air conditioning technician. However, I left after two years and I was not able to get my diploma. I started working in different fields, such as welding and plumbing,” said Rabih Yassine, a 24-year-old Lebanese trainee who participated in the advanced industrial plumbing competency-based training implemented by the ILO and the Safadi Foundation, a Lebanese NGO providing skills training.

“Since I started working at a young age, I gained some experience in welding and plumbing but it did not exceed the amateur level,” admitted Rabih. He previously completed a basic plumbing course at Safadi Accelerated Vocational Training Centre in Tripoli, but he always wanted to gain more knowledge and experience. “The advanced plumbing training provided me with a lot of knowledge and skills that are essential in the workplace,” said Rabih, who is always looking for new opportunities to grow. He also emphasized the importance of the certificate he received upon completion of training and assessment. “The certificate is key in finding job opportunities”, Rabih added.

After finishing the training programme, Rabih received a job offer from a company where he completed on-the-job training. Unfortunately, due to the high transportation cost and low salary, he had to leave this job.

However, Rabih is not losing hope and he is looking forward to new opportunities, both in Lebanon and abroad, to further build his professional portfolio. He encourages others to join training programmes. “The knowledge and skills you end up with are priceless, and they are surely a gate for a better future!” concluded Rabih.

Rabih is one of 100 Syrian and Lebanese people benefiting so far from skills training and post-training services under Skill-Up Lebanon (Phase II) project – a joint effort of the ILO and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. The project aims to improve the acquisition of market-relevant skills and increase employability through skills training coupled with pre-enrolment career orientation and post-training support services.