The intervention “Skilled Young Palestine” – Strengthening youth resilience, aims to contribute 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 new National Policy Agenda covering the next 6 years (2017 – 2022). The 6th priority on “Economic Independence” within the third pillar on sustainable development, 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 new intervention aims to increase youth resilience in Palestine through the development of skills development programs 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 points productive sectors will make a self-analysis on technical and personal skills needed to reduce the skills mismatch. The intervention will then apply a dual track approach. On the one hand, training providers will train on technical skills through a skills development facility installed 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 intervention are Gaza, Northern West Bank, Hebron and East-Jerusalem based on vulnerable youth data from UNICEF. The intervention will build upon expertise from the different ongoing ENABEL-implemented interventions. To assure a swift and agile implementation, a mix of funding and support schemes will be developed.
The Rights-based approach is transversal in the whole intervention, allowing right holders to have an eased access to quality services, and claiming their rights towards the different duty bearers. Specific attention will be given to women and early school drop-outs to facilitate their access to the labour market. A separate window will be created to give existing enterprises access to modern technology, including digital solutions by providing exchange with Belgian enterprises and through calls for proposals of D4D (Digital for Development).
As this intervention is essentially demand driven, and not a classical ‘sectoral and institutional support project’, it operates with and through a wide range of stakeholders and partners. The main institutional partner is the Ministry of Finance and Planning (MoFP). During the formulation phase, the role of each of the other stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Labour, National Economy and the Higher Councils will be detailed.
The direct beneficiaries are Palestinian youth, particularly women in Gaza, East-Jerusalem, Hebron and North West Bank, and Palestinian enterprises. Indirect beneficiaries are Business Membership Organisations and private sector federations, TVET providers and youth centres.