In today’s difficult economic climate in Lebanon where young Lebanese women have very little hopes in attaining successful professional careers, the EU-funded YEP MED project came at a crucial time to support the Lebanese youth and provide it with strength and hope to believe in a better tomorrow, as well as ease their entries into the labour market through the offered training programmes in the field of port logistics. The first bunch of 33 YEP MED graduates obtained the “YEP MED Port Logistics Training certification” signed by Chamber of Commerce of Beirut and the Escola Europea -Intermodal Transport from Barcelona last July. Among these graduates, a few of the young women showed interest in enrolling in the training programmes offered by another EU-funded project – namely INTERNISA – which promises to enhance the digitalisation of the skills of young women skills.
“The YEP MED training given in April 2021 was honestly my favourite programme since I became a transport student and I care about encouraging young women and men in the port logistic sector. YEP MED was an amazing experience for me and I am willing to participate in other trainings as well related to transport and logistics. I encourage every Lebanese woman to join and learn new skills through two training programs offered by the EU funded projects, namely YEP MED and INTERNISA. These programmes help a lot empowering women and boosting up our skills in many arenas. I personally enrolled in the YEP MED training programme and got certified in port logistics sector where I acquired further knowledge in the blue economy alongside the simulation exercises of import and export in sea transportation. These newly acquired skills will make a huge difference in my future and will positively impact my career expectations. On another hand over the past five days I learned a lot and developed new skills in digital transformation and communication skills. But what I liked the most is the self-awareness journey that inspired me to evaluate my skills, identify myself and ask myself so many questions in order to self-explore because there is no better time for it than the present. I really enjoyed both training programmes – YEP MED and INTERNISA – and I am looking forward to join similar trainings programmes.”
The two projects – YEP MED and INTERNISA – fall under the same thematic priority of the ENI CBC Med Programme – to enhance social inclusion and fight against poverty. The ultimate objective of the Chamber of Commerce of Beirut is to create a synergy between diverse development actions initiated by EU funded projects in order to upscale the Lebanese youth talents’ pool – namely women – by optimising their access to jobs or internships opportunities and enhancing their faith in future career paths in Lebanon.
The YEP MED project is financed by the European Union and involves partnerships with key ports and maritime training institutes from 7 Mediterranean countries namely, Spain, Italy, France, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon which is represented by the Chamber of Commerce of Beirut and Mount-Lebanon. The project aims to strengthen the networks between the different port communities’ and build up the youth employment in blue sector across the Mediterranean basin.
“I believe that the YEP MED training programme represents a good step that gave me -and gave us- a lot of prospects and opportunities. I also gained valuable experience from professional instructors and I hope I can join every training prepared by this programme in the near future. It was a pleasure for me to be part of the two extremely interesting courses of the YEP MED and INTERNISA projects that I attended within the same year 2021. I learned a lot during these trainings which were so interactive and practical based on case studies and simulations. The instructors were very knowledgeable: they explained very well and always engaged us to participate and share our ideas and insights. As we know the economic situation is very bad in our country therefore we admit that we may start by low scale positions and then grow gradually through capacity building programmes and trainings. We are a generation that lived very tough situation however through more beautiful days we will rise again.”
INTERNISA training programme – a glance of hope for Lebanese young women
Following the identification of a digital skills gap of Lebanese young women across key economic sectors, and based on the related developed training curricula, the Chamber of Commerce of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, a key partner of the EU funded project INTERNISA, organized a multi modular training programme over two weeks dedicated to young Lebanese women from diverse cultural and geographical areas. 55 young Lebanese women took part in this online training programme, which took place between the 4th and the 19th of October 2021. In spite of the unprecedented economic collapse and ascending youth unemployment rates in Lebanon, this initiative, which aims to enhance social inclusion and fight poverty, represents a genuine opportunity for the Lebanese youth to improve their skills and competences, make them more marketable to the labour market and keep them believing in a better tomorrow.
“Enrolling in the YEP MED’s training programme which encourages young women to participate in port maritime sector allowed me to enhance my knowledge in all fields related to port logistics especially in networking with experts. As a Lebanese young woman, I enjoyed participating in YEP MED training programme as well as INTERNISA’s, which helped me to facilitate my access to the labour market especially in the current circumstances of high rates of unemployment and lack of job opportunities. So, it was a great chance to get trained in these two different programmes funded by the EU in which the focus was to equip women with required skills and competences to allow them join the labour market. So I benefited from the technical knowledge in a promising sector which is the port logistics while I boosted up my digital innovation skills which will help me in my job later on.”
INTERNISA aims to develop a network to enhance/contribute to the digitalisation of the skills of young women. Its objective is to increase the number of digitally trained women in the European Neighborhood territories through the matching of demand and supply in the labour market. This project is led by the Macedonia Region in Greece, in partnership with 8 organisations from municipalities, training institutions and youth agencies at the Mediterranean Sea from Spain, Italy, Greece, Palestine, Jordan, Tunisia and Lebanon. The Chamber of Commerce of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, a key partner in this project, is the leader of the capacity building programme, which aims to develop training curricula, tools and digital programmes in the agro-food, textiles, finance, and tourism sectors.
“I have studied accounting over the past 3 years. I then worked for Touch tele-communication company in data entry and documentation and also as a supervisor in Spinneys. However, the economic situation suspended my job experience in view of devaluation of salaries and the financial crisis. That’s how I have become unemployed 7 months ago. Therefore, I would like to thank YEP MED and INTERNISA projects for the informative and inspiring workshops that I have had the chance to enroll in recently. The sessions were fruitful and enjoyable. A big thank also for the trainers who gave all efforts to involve us in interactive activities which made us partners during the sessions. Both training programmes provided us with handouts and training materials that I just needed to boost my knowledge in many areas, namely the simulation applications and digitalisation tools that are much requested nowadays to excel in the job market. I finished the sessions with many takeaways that I can put into practice in the port logistics field as well as in digitalisation transformation and I look forward to attending future innovative trainings organised by EU projects.”