The project 'Skilled Young Palestine' (Strengthening youth resilience) aims to support Palestine in gaining economic autonomy and build up resilience among Palestinian youth.
Estimates are that by 2050, the youth population will more than double. Young people and adolescents have been very much influenced by the society and the surrounding environment, externally by the forces of the Israeli occupation, and internally by the Palestinian fragmentation, loss of identity and a patriarchal society.
The private sector in Palestine is the key driver for economic growth and job creation, but Palestinian enterprises have remained hostage to political instability, unresolved conflict, and continued restrictions on movement, access to resources, services and trade. Mainly youth and women are strongly affected by unemployment and underemployment. The gap in the labour participation rate between men (72%) and women (19%) in Palestine remains the highest in the MENA region. Employers report a strong mismatch between the supply of skills and the demand on the labour market. Both technical and personal (key competences) are lacking.
In response to the challenges, the Palestinian government launched a National Policy Agenda covering 6 years (2017 – 2022). The 6th priority on 'Economic Independence' seeks a balance between measures that will create jobs and those required to lay the groundwork for a competitive, independent economy in the post-occupation era. The 7th priority on ‘Social Justice and Rule of Law’ seeks to remove barriers and empower and equip Palestinian women and youth.
The project aims to increase youth resilience in Palestine through skills development programmes for youth with a specific attention for young women through the establishment of public-private partnerships, the provision of technical skills training and entrepreneurship key competences.
As a starting point, productive sectors will make a self-analysis on technical and personal skills needed to reduce the skills mismatch. The project will then apply a dual track approach. On the one hand, training providers will train on technical skills through a skills development facility in each selected sectoral umbrella organisation.
On the other hand, entrepreneurship key competences training will be acquired in low threshold community-based youth centres in innovation labs.
The proposed areas of action are Gaza, Northern West Bank, Hebron and East-Jerusalem, based on vulnerable youth data from UNICEF.