55 members of School Advisory Boards (SABs) from 14 TVET schools and institutes across Lebanon are participating in tailored capacity building training programme to improve the functioning of SABs and support them in fulfilling their mandate.
SABs, established by ministerial decision in public TVET schools and institutes under the Ministry of Education Directorate General of TVET (DGTVET), include members from TVET schools’ management (directors, managers, and school staff) and the private sector/employers from local communities. SABs are mandated to follow up on well-functioning of the school or institute and provide advice and recommendations to optimize its performance, in addition to supporting students and graduates in their academic and professional path through work-based learning and job placement opportunities. As such, SABs aim to create links between TVET and the industry to ensure the quality and relevance of the TVET programmes to labour market needs to foster graduates’ employability.
During the opening session, Rania Hokayem, ILO National TVET Programme Coordinator in Lebanon, emphasized the importance of collaboration between TVET institutes and employers: “We are pleased to see that such cooperation has materialized with the establishment of the School Advisory Boards in TVET institutions. This initiative is a very important step towards creating the vital link between TVET and the industry to ensure the relevance of the TVET programmes to the community and the business needs, to build a better future for our graduates and enterprises.”
Nada Mouzannar-Melki, GIZ Key Expert in Lebanese VTE system stressed the collaboration and commitment of various partners in the establishment and functioning of SABs: “Several factors have been contributing to the successful establishment of SABs: Director General of DGTVET’s vision and determination to improve the quality of TVET in the country and the support of the private sector working group in the Directorate; continuous work and commitment of the principals of schools and technical institutes and the fellow members of SABs despite the difficulties they have been facing; coordination between partners to prepare and deliver this training; and belief in the project and trust of employers”.
The multifaceted crisis in Lebanon has highlighted the urgent need to equip youth with the right skills to increase productivity and competitiveness of enterprises, and accelerate the transition to a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient economy. This requires intensive investment in education and skills training and multi-stakeholder partnerships, particularly with employers, to narrow the persistent gap between skills in demand by the market, and those in actual supply, and to ensure quality responsive training. To give young people a competitive head-start in the labour market, the education and training system needs to incorporate approaches to skills acquisition that combine training with employment and income generating opportunities. These include apprenticeships and on-the-job training schemes, which provide young people with the opportunity to learn a trade and enter the practical world of work.
“Employers’ involvement in TVET is vital as it allows to collect the accurate qualitative and quantitative information about labour market needs, and, therefore, help to tailor our training accordingly” – said Dr. Hanadi Berri, Director General of the Directorate General of Technical and Vocational Training and Education (DGTVET). “TVET is critical for Lebanon; it will help us overcome the economic crisis in the country” – she added.
The training programme for SAB members, provided by the ILO’s Regional Office for Arab States in collaboration with the GIZ and ILO’s International Training Centre (ITC-ILO), is taking place online between October and November 2021. It brings together SAB members with the aim to foster their active involvement and collaboration and facilitate the development of a shared and holistic analysis of the challenges facing TVET institutions to cope with the current socio-economic situation in Lebanon. The training programme will also discuss practical concepts and strategies on how to further involve the industry in the design, implementation and assessment of a market-relevant initial and continuous training to effectively implement SAB’s operations.
“For the next few weeks we will be working together to create a culture of collaboration for the benefit of both parts of this collaboration. On one side, making TVET offer more and more relevant and quality oriented, and on the other side, supporting businesses and the private sector in this particularly difficult situation they are experiencing” – said Stefano Merante, TVET/Skills Development Programme Officer at ITC-ILO.
The capacity building training initiative is supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) under Skill-Up Lebanon (Phase II) project which aims to improve the match between skills supply and market demand with a complete package of support, from labour market analysis, a competency-based approach to training, career orientation and post-training employment support, to strengthening skills governance and management of TVET.
It complements the ILO’s extensive skills interventions in the country, and addresses needs identified in the 2018-2022 National Strategic Framework for TVET in Lebanon, developed by the Government of Lebanon with the support of UNICEF and the ILO, that promotes a quality, relevant, and inclusive TVET system for youth and workers.