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January 01, 1992
Vocational and Technical Training

The Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), in consultation with America Mid-East Educational Training & Services, Inc. (AMIDEAST), conducted a study on vocational and technical training in Lebanon at the request of the Near East Foundation (NEF). The goals of the study were:
To evaluate the present state of vocational and technical training in the country, including major problems and possibilities for future directions;
To evaluate the work of the six NEF-supported vocational training institutions in Lebanon and their use of NEF funds; and
In light of the findings of the above two goals, to make recommendations to NEF for future activities in the country.
In the present post-war phase of reconstruction, there is a real need for more and better vocational and technical training programs in Lebanon. Existing programs suffer from inadequate equipment and premises, undeveloped programs and materials, and unqualified instructors. The employment market, particularly the industrial sector, urgently needs skilled and semi-skilled technically- and vocationally-trained employees. However, no systematic study has yet been made to survey the job market of the post-Lebanese and post-Gulf wars. The most needy target groups of the population - out-of-school, unemployed or under employed youth, women heads of households, displaced and socio-economically disadvantaged individuals, and the handicapped - must be given the opportunity to acquire a skill leading to gainful employment. Without proper career guidance services, however, too many students make inappropriate, uninformed decisions regarding their vocations and training.
Well-established vocational and technical schools granting official Lebanese Government degrees and offering strong programs are in the best position to provide the qualified labor force needed by the employment market. However, many of the unofficial, short-term programs offered in large institutions as well as in smaller centers better answer the needs of many members of the target populations who, although not qualified for more advanced, long-term technical training, would gain from training in less demanding vocational skills which are immediately marketable.
In making plans for on-going and future project activity in Lebanon, LCPS has made a number of recommendations in this report based on the following guidelines:
Keep vocational training the major focus of NEF's support for Lebanon in this period of post-war reconstruction and development.
Continue to make scholarships and monthly stipends available to the neediest and most deserving students enrolled in the strong, official programs of Al-Kafa'at Foundation, Amiliyeh Technical Institute, and the YWCA - three of the institutions NEF already supports.
Increase support for informal, short-term, intensive training programs serving the target populations and/or located in geographical areas of most need such as those of the Al-Kafa'at, CEDAR, IWSAW, and the YMCA.
Support training in the skills most in demand in the market: for men - air conditioning, automobile mechanics, basic building trades, electricity, electronics, general mechanics, plumbing; for women - embroidery, cosmetology, hairdressing, industrial and home sewing, medical assisting, laboratory technology, practical nursing, secretarial skills.
Extend NEF support to four additional vocational and technical training institutions located in outlying regions of the country and/or serving high-priority target groups.
Support long-term efforts to strengthen the infrastructure of the vocational and technical training sector as a whole.

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