In October 2020, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Labor (MOL) launched the "لأنّ العلم مفتاح العمل، #لازم_نتعلّم" initiative which offered unique free-of-charge and certified learning opportunities on the e-learning platform ‘Coursera’. The purpose of this Webinar is to show the mismatch between the accumulated skills through ESCWA-MOL Coursera training and the demands of the labor market in Lebanon and the Arab region using preliminary results of ESCWA’s Job monitor. The Webinar comprised a demographic analysis of applicants as well as an investigation of Lebanon’s market needs. The Webinar proposed key policy recommendations to reduce the skill mismatch between advertised job postings in Lebanon and the number of jobs needed.
In its first section, the Webinar assessed the age and education level of applicants. The Webinar furthermore stressed on the specialization as well as the employment status of Coursera applicants.
In its second section, the Webinar indicated the most demanded soft as well as hard skills in Lebanon, Arab countries, and the world. It noted the existence of some overlap between the hard skills that are in demand in Lebanon and the Arab region. However, it pointed out to the difference between the top five skills that are required around the world and those that are required in the Arab region. The Webinar furthermore highlighted that with the increase in the demand for certain skills in Lebanon, there exists an increase in the match between the skills offered and those in demand.
In the last section, the Webinar proposed a number of policy interventions that argued for the need to reach out more to geographical disadvantaged areas, create better skills matching techniques, and provide guidance for job searchers. Besides, the webinar devoted some attention to the question of how to increase the participation of low and medium-skilled people in training courses. The Webinar included some suggestions as regards the adaptation of training programs to address the constraints and obstacles facing women in the labor market. Cognizant of the importance of establishing coherence between the demand and supply of occupational skills, the Webinar recommended the development of coordination mechanisms between education providers and companies. The Webinar also stressed on the importance of encouraging older workforce to upskill or reskill.