BEIRUT, 15 April 2019 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Government of Japan are joining forces in Lebanon for a project titled “Market-based construction skills training for all”, which aims to create economic opportunities and jobs in the construction sector, particularly among host and refugee communities in the north of the country. This is one of nine new projects implemented by UNIDO which Japan has recently agreed to fund, totalling US$5.8 million.
Lebanon continues to be the largest host of Syrian refugees (in proportion to existing population); currently hosting more than one million refugees, which has resulted in a 25 per cent increase of its population. The country consequently remains under substantial pressure to deal with the economic consequences of the instability in the region. In line with the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan 2018-2020, UNIDO will work to create economic opportunities and jobs in the construction sector for both Lebanese and Syrians, particularly among youth.
“Supporting the establishment of a construction sector skills and vocational training centre, designing training curricula and facilitating technology transfer constitute the core components of the project,” said UNIDO Project Manager, Tomoyoshi Koume. “Once operational, the centre will provide training to men, women, and particularly youth from host and refugees communities on a variety of market-based skills in the construction and related sectors in support of inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Lebanon.”
The training modules will be tailored according to market-needs, and will be developed based on a diagnostic assessment, which will be conducted at the beginning of the project. The training modules will be designed with a focus on innovation and creativity. Furthermore, a training centre will be selected and upgraded through the project; two construction (sub-) sector training options will be designed, and at least 30 trainers will be trained. Once completed, the project subsequently aims to provide different training to at last 200 individuals as well as support for job placement.
Matahiro Yamaguchi, Ambassador of Japan to Lebanon, said “Japan is very keen on supporting skills development initiatives, which are fundamental to meet the new demands of the job market. I am positive that the recent Japanese grant, coupled with the remarkable efforts of UNIDO, will help advance the local economy in North Lebanon, by empowering both residents and refugees to access income generating activities in the construction sector.”
The Government of Japan has now supported four consecutive UNIDO projects in Lebanon. In the previous project, more than 250 individuals were trained to develop skills in the wood and construction sector, of which 139 were women.