Reducing youth unemployment in Palestine | Enabel - Belgian Development Agency

Reducing youth unemployment

Work-based learning facilitates the transition from education to employment
The majority of Palestinian youth are unemployed. One of the reasons is the fact that companies are looking for technically skilled staff, while Palestinian graduates are often encouraged to pursue academic degrees.  
Both political and economic restrictions prevent socio-economic development in the region, especially in the Gaza Strip. Because of this, the ability of the private sector to thrive is limited and the Palestinian economy remains highly dependent on the public sector, which counts for 15% of employment in the West Bank and 36% in Gaza.

The deterioration of the overall economic situation in Palestine, combined with a rapid population growth and an ever-higher number of people entering the labour market has significantly increased unemployment, especially among Palestinian youth. In 2017, unemployment in Palestine reached 27,4% among labour force participants, 0,5% higher than in 2016, and was the highest in Gaza with 43,6% unemployment, compared to 18% in the West Bank.
Unemployment in the Gaza Strip has risen to more than 43%. Yet there are jobs in the private sector for people with technical skills, but only 3% of Palestinian students have a degree in technical education or vocational training.
In contrast, there is a high demand for technical skills in the private sector, but less than 3% of the Palestinian student population obtains a degree in technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

Enabel wants to counter youth unemployment in Palestine by helping graduates match their skills with the demand of the labour market, by integrating Work-Based Learning in technical & vocational training. Work-Based Learning improves practical skills and facilitates the transition from education to employment as part of the students’ training takes place in the workplace.

Work-Based learning works

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Ameen, Soujoud, Ala and Amar talk about their experience.

Ameen - Painting and decoration

“The training in the private sector gave me the skills to start my own business, and to build up my own financial independence.”
Read his story

Soujoud en Ala – Fashion design

“The internship in the private sector helped us to stay on top of all new trends and skills needed in fashion design.”
read their story

Amar – IT programmer

“Thanks to the worked-based learning course I feel confident to further develop my knowledge and to gain practical experience.”

What happens next?

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Work-based learning brought the public and private sector together around the shared objective of improving the skills and competences of the TVET graduates and to facilitate the transition from school to work.

With the support of Enabel over 2000 students benefitted from 83 work-based learning initiatives in companies. The private sector should now continue backing work-based learning to assure that students can continue to move smoothly on to the labour market. It has proven to be essential that the private sector is closely involved in the design, roll-out and evaluation of work-based learning on every level. To effectively improve the labour market opportunities of graduates, it is crucial that skills offered by the TVET institutes are adapted to the skills demanded by the labour market.

THE PROJECT At a glance:

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  • In 2017, unemployment in the Palestinian Territory reached 27,4% among labour force participants, and was the highest in Gaza with 43,6% unemployment, compared to 18% in the West Bank.
  • Designed curricula for 16 TVET programs, according to the needs of the labor market, resulting in 45 VET institutes cooperating with more than 238 companies.
  • Over 2000 students benefitted from 83 work-based learning initiatives in companies.
  • Duration: 17/07/2013 – 17/07/2018
  • Financing: Belgium, Palestinian Territory
  • Budget: € 6.900.000 .

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