Beirut Arab University - Tripoli branch hosted the launching of the Marqab website, a project that aims to contribute to shaping the Lebanese labor market through data-driven insights, and to survey the status of the young flexible workforce in northern Lebanon.
Representatives from the public sector, official and social institutions, representatives of the non-governmental organizations partnering in the project (COSV - TEC - WE SPRING - SEE CHANGE, Tripoli Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Tripoli and North Lebanon, BEYOUND Group - European Union), and Dr. Rana Al-Dajani, who is a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Refugee Work Center (ReACT) from Jordan, as well as the youth who participated in the data collection activity as part of the Marqab team and various COSV Lebanon programs attended the launch.
The opening ceremony started by a speech of the Director of Tripoli branch, Dr. Hani El Chaarani, who said that “Beirut Arab University is ranked among the top three universities in Lebanon according to the Times Higher Education ranking. The university is committed to developing academic programs and providing the best educational services. However, he added that we are not satisfied with only this where the launch of Marqab platform is a way that the university shows its commitment to community service and the labor market in addition to its academic role.”
"Marqab project is a constructive step in monitoring the needs of the labor market. It provides a wide range of documented and updated data to help in decision-making. However, this is not enough on its own since we all need to work together in order to build an integrated economic system, or what is known as an "ECO-System", that connects the academy to the needs of the local and certainly global labor market."
Ms. Melissa Yammine, the Project Manager at Tripoli's Entrepreneurship Club, said: “The vision of this project is directly aligned with TEC's vision of building a prosperous city that pushes individuals forward to build local projects with social impact.
"Yammine continued, "In the field of TEC, we are working to connect this workforce to labor markets that are looking for innovation. It is important to have a pool of talents and expertise to supply institutions and companies that enable them to develop new products, services, and technologies especially since northern Lebanon currently lacks those systems and networks to support skills, entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurial institutions. However, with the construction of these networks and supporting services, we can attract actual skills and entrepreneurs in northern Lebanon and Tripoli."
Then, COSV project manager Luigi Cavallito spoke about the "Marqab" project, describing it as a pioneering initiative that puts the power of change directly in the hands of young people, led by COSV in Lebanon and developed in partnership with the Tripoli Entrepreneurship Club - TEC, the Tripoli Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (CCIAT), in addition to the innovative contributions of “We Spring”.
Cavallito said: "Marqab" is more than just a project. It is an active working society that was tried in 2018 under the Leb Inc/Al Mashghal programme, in cooperation with Beirut Arab University and other educational institutions, and with the support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).
Today, we are preparing to move forward as part of the SEE CHANGE project, co-financed by the European Union and led by young people. "
The opening concluded with a speech by Professor Obaida Tekriti, the principal researcher of Marqab project “We Spring”. He said: “When we focused on northern Lebanon, we proceeded from the idea that most of the people that may contribute effectively by pushing our current economy from a place to another are those who do not have the flexibility, strength and energy to contribute to a new path. From this point we worked to assess the situation of the young and flexible workforce in northern Lebanon where we filled 2,500 forms by people whose ages are between 15 and 39 in Northern Lebanon Governorate, specifically in July 2023 in terms of assessing their skills, understanding their current status and looking at their aspirations..
Tekriti continued: “Our role is not only to address the problems of closing gaps and healing wounds, our actual role is to conAtribute by enhancing the hidden potentials of our surrounding community, and that our goal is not only to contribute by securing a better job, higher salary and more workshops but also to build a community, and specifically a workforce that shines with energy for its people, country and all its community..
The opening was followed by a seminar moderated by Mr. Mohammad Omar about "Competitiveness of Young Workforce in Lebanon", with the participation of Laser Association Program Manager Zeina Owaidat, Economist and Research Coordinator at COSV Dr. Mohammad Makki, Youth Development Specialist Ahlam Abou Baker, and the Director of Mekati Aluminum, Mr. Taha Mikati.
The event was concluded with a workshop to discuss ideas and suggestions for strengthening the capacity of workforce in northern Lebanon.