Rural populations in Lebanon, particularly women and youth, have very limited access to jobs and viable income-generating opportunities. Agricultural value chain actors require additional support to improve their operations and effectiveness.
As the project’s workforce development partner, Making Cents International implemented activities to increase the participation of women and youth in the food processing and rural tourism sectors in rural Lebanon. We conducted a labor market assessment in these sectors, gathered demand-side information from employers on their workforce needs, and amassed supply-side data from TVET institutions on the strengths, gaps, and constraints of current pre-employment trainings related to these sectors.
In collaboration with employers and TVET partners, we designed and piloted a one-day workshop for youth in TVET institutions. “FastStart Internship Training Camp”: a hands-on, interactive workshop that centered on soft skills. It was well received by TVET students and staff.
Under the USAID FORWARD initiative, we built the capacity of local NGOs to upgrade value chains in these sectors and contribute to a permanent cadre of skilled local firms, associations, foundations, and organizations in rural communities. We assessed the capacity of the NGOs linked to these value chains, then designed customized, interactive training packages to improve their project design, project implementation, project management, and reporting. We also designed an interactive, user-friendly handbook for orchard management, in close consultation with potential end-users, along with a training package that supported the establishment and effective operation of producer groups.