(ProVTE) Technical education and training for Lebanese youth
Title: Technical Assistance for More Practice Oriented VTE in Lebanon (ProVTE)
Commissioned by: European Union
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Education and Higher Education represented by the General Directorate for Vocational and Technical Education (DGVTE)
Overall term: 2017 to 2021
Lebanon is a small middle-income country with an open and largely service-oriented economy that has a long-standing and strong proactive commercial tradition. Small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the dominant form of business organisation, particularly micro and small sized businesses. Moreover, there is a large informal sector in the country.
Lebanon is in a phase of deep political and social transformation. Due to the structural economic deficits and a high influx of foreign workers as well as Syrian refugees, there is a lack of employment and income opportunities, especially for young people. Amid a stumbling economy associated with growing skills shortages and a young population seeking employment opportunities, high pressure is put on the Lebanese Vocational and Technical Education (VTE) to deliver skills needed by the economy. Furthermore, the anticipation of the labour market’s needs through the Lebanese VTE system is rather insignificant. There is a general consensus that training providers are predominantly supply-led and that vocational streams do not provide adequate practical skills for employability. As a result, the private sector finds it difficult to recruit skilled young professionals; at the same time employers play a minor role in their training.
The overall objective of ProVTE is to improve the quality, relevance and responsiveness of the public Lebanese VTE system to the needs of the labour market, more specifically to promote and strengthen planning, coordination and implementation for a more practice-oriented VTE in Lebanon.
The main project approach is participatory and based on capacity development which aims to empower key stakeholders in VTE to better understand the obstacles inhibiting the realisation of their developmental goals while enhancing their abilities that will allow them to achieve measurable and sustainable results. Furthermore, the project aims to establish and consolidate links between the VTE system and the business community in a way to orient the strategy and the priorities of VTE towards a job-oriented approach.
The core and supporting processes for the implementation and maintenance of a VTE system based on practice-oriented learning are centred on the competency approach and contain:
- the design of a model for long and short term courses (Initial and Continuous Vocational Education and Training), the development of a system for evaluation, assessment and certification of qualifications, and proposal of a curricula development system centred on the competency approach with a focus on practice-oriented learning;
- the establishment of a VTE governance system including tools to coordinate different interventions in the areas of VTE;
- the development of curricula;
- the piloting of these practice-oriented curricula in selected schools to assure the graduates with a qualification certificate and the evaluation of the intervention to provide feedback for further development
All these activities are accompanied with specific capacity building measures.
ProVTE developed more than 25 curricula for competency based (CBT) practical Learning Units in construction, mechanical maintenance and renewable energy with 16 of them approved by the DGVTE and available to any training provider in Lebanon. The CBT approach piloted by the project gained momentum as various training providers adopted the curricula and the same third-party assessment and certification to improve the employability of the trainees and to assure the quality of the training provided. ProVTE is piloting the modules in 12 public VTE schools all over the country, with around 50 companies providing work-based learning opportunities to around 300 trainees.
On the political level, ProVTE organised the first meetings of a National Sector Skills Team (NSST) in the construction sector under the umbrella of the Lebanese Contractors Syndicate and with the support of the DGVTE. Employers showed a proactive attitude that resulted in an input by the Syndicate to DGVTE for the development of a curricula in priority occupations such as electrical installation, plumbing, foreman concrete, foreman finishing, shutter erection, steel fixer, and general foreman, amongst the 34 occupations identified in the construction sector. Collaboration with employers led ProVTE to establish a cooperation with the construction company MAN Enterprise, with the GIZ QUDRA Programme and the DGVTE to design and implement trainings in Advanced Formwork Systems and in Steel Fixing to match job opportunities at the company. This initiative is continued by ProVTE and by the “Local Development Programme for Urban Areas in North Lebanon” (UDP_NL) implemented by GIZ.
Since September 2019, two CBT practical Learning Units are piloted within the existing Technical Baccalaureate in “Bâtiment et Travaux Publics” in one public VTE school, to test the feasibility of conducting the assessment of competences involving employers. Prior to the delivery of the practical Learning Units, training of trainers delivered by experience professionals allowed to build the capacity of teachers in three schools: Choueifat, Sarafand and Dekwaneh VTE public schools. The majority of teachers were assessed by the construction and engineering company APAVE and received a certificate of competence.