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GTZ Promotes Vocational Education and SME-Development in Lebanon
Posted on: 1/18/2008 12:06:00 PM

The military conflict in summer 2006 had caused a lot of economic and social damages as the civil war before that. Facing the growing pressure of competition with the manufacturers of other countries including such one of the European Union (EU) and of the Mediterranean countries, all sectors of the economy call for a very good qualified technical staff. It is needed not only at the academic level but in particular for very practice oriented occupations which need a lot of enterprise experience and the readiness to manual work in the various fields of the processing industry, handicrafts and even in the services. This situation is in particular influencing the small and medium enterprises (SME) which have a share of more than 90 % of the labor market of the Lebanese industry and handicrafts. Therefore the Lebanese and German Governments agreed in September 2006 to expand the collaboration in the Cooperative (dual) Training and to strengthen the Meister-Further Training. In addition it was agreed to integrate the promotion of business development services for the small and medium sized enterprises (SME) that shall serve both the technological capability and the economic performance of the SME. The capacity of SME for the cooperative training shall be enlarged. The German contribution is 6.5 Million EUR for the period 04/2007 to 03/2010. Out of it 650.000 EUR have been spend for urgent rehabilitation measures of the vocational training centers up to 12/2006.
Current situation
The Lebanese-German collaboration up to 2007 could make remarkable contributions to link the vocational education system closer to the demands of the labor market. More than 500 companies cooperate with 19 vocational training centers all over the country and provide training in technical trades and two of the hotel-sector. Economic institutions and companies contribute to the development of curricula, they offer in-house training places and take part in the dialog of the economy with the state in the best public-private-partnership. The curricula are focused on the world of labor and its modern technological standard as well for the industry as for the handicrafts. 80% of the graduates on average can find a first job after graduation or continue studying. The certification of the “Meister“ for industry and handicrafts after some years of enterprise-experience is an accepted path of up-grading-qualification as well as training for self-employment. All that could be reached by a big amount of training for counterparts and for the teachers and headmasters of the 19 training centers. About 650 participants did receive technical and pedagogical further training up to three month duration. A mass of technical equipment was provided to implement the curricula at a high level.
Future Activities
The new project-concept of technical cooperation is going to be implemented at Macro-level (Ministries of Education and Higher Education, Economy and Trade and Industry), at Meso-level (Chambers, trade-associations, Service providers) and at the Micro-level (vocational training centers and enterprises). The vocational education continues with a countrywide approach. It will integrate special short-term-training particularly requested by SME. But also additional specializations in the promoted trades will be proved and the one or the other new trade in the cooperative pattern could be possible in the years ahead. The variety of SME-demands will be an important indicator in this regard. The SME which provide cooperative training will be considered in particular. The new component „Promotion of SME“ is especially based on business development services (BDS) that will meet the demands of SME. BDS-institutions and providers will be supported with suitable selected measures including international expertise. Local subsidies are foreseen and marketing for SME. Special attention in all project components will be paid to the qualification of counterparts and the ownership of the Lebanese institutions. The main goal is finally the strengthening of the competition-capabilities of SME, the promotion of employability of the staff and the creation of employment.


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