Lebanon launches “Code of Conduct” for on-the-job vocational training programmes

The document, developed by the ILO and UNICEF in collaboration with Lebanon’s ministries of Labour and of Agriculture, provides guidance to employers engaged in workplace-based learning programmes that provide vocational education students with on-the-job training.

Beirut, 17 December 2020– Under the patronage of Lebanon’s Minister of Labour Lamia Yammine, and in collaboration with the Minister of Agriculture Abbas Mortada, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the “Code of Conduct for Employers Implementing Workplace-Based Learning Programmes” in Lebanon.

The Code of Conduct provides guidance to employers engaged in workplace-based learning programmes – programmes that provide vocational education students with on-the-job training. The Code describes the standards employers should meet to provide trainees with a safe and protective learning environment that respects human and labour rights. It also supports training providers involved in designing and developing such programmes.

The virtual launch event on 16 December began with a presentation by ILO National Programme Coordinator for TVET projects Rania Hokayem and Adolescent and Youth Development Programme Officer at UNICEF Josianne Makhoul. The presentation highlighted how the Code of Conduct’s articles reflect national labour law and related regulations, international conventions Lebanon has ratified, core labour standards that apply to all ILO member states, and international good practices. It will also support training providers involved in designing and developing such programmes, and trainees themselves, to gain a better understanding of the ethics and protection measures that employers should observe throughout workplace-based learning programmes.

“This Code of Conduct is a very important step towards providing high-quality, market-relevant education and training in Lebanon to meet employers’ needs for skills,” said ILO Deputy Regional Director for Arab States Frank Hagemann during his address to participants in the event.

“It will similarly help equip Lebanon’s workers with the skills that the economy demands, and promote efforts to provide them with the social and legal protection they need at the workplace. The Code therefore allows both workers and employers to look forward to a better future of work,” Hagemann continued.

“Today’s event falls under the National Strategic Framework for Technical Vocational Training and Education which was launched by the Prime Minister’s office in June 2018,” said Yukie Mokuo UNICEF’s Country Representative in Lebanon as she addressed participants, “especially in relation to strengthening the quality of the technical education and training in line with the market needs to improve access of adolescents and youth to job opportunities.”

“While building the bridges between the world of education and the world of work, we are all mandated and accountable for ensuring a safe, friendly, and rights-based environment for the adolescents and youth,” Mokuo continued.

The event was addressed by Lebanon’s Minister of Agriculture Abbas Mortada. “The renewed economic crisis makes it imperative for us to work on building capacities in agriculture in order to meet the sector’s need for skilled labor,” Minister Mortada told attendees. “This sector is one of the most promising in Lebanon in terms of the number of job opportunities it provides and its need for a wide variety of technical services.”

“This Code, which was developed in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, is vital for ensuring that professions in the agriculture sector are included under national standards governing employment and the provision of decent working conditions and social and health protection for workers,” Minister Mortada added.

The final address at the virtual event was by Lebanon’s Minister of Labour Lamia Yammine, who said the Code of Conduct is “a critical step towards spreading awareness in the workplace by providing employers and trainees with the tools and ethical standards necessary to avoid any cases of discrimination, harassment and threats that lead or are likely to lead to physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm to trainees and workers.”

Minister Yammine continued: “We hope this achievement will yield benefits and that it will help orient the Lebanese workforce towards the technical sector, which will provide our economy with an opportunity for self-recovery, especially during the current economic crisis.”

The Code of Conduct was developed as a result of a collective effort between the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Agriculture, the ILO, UNICEF, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), employer representatives and various social partners. It was developed within the framework of the Joint ILO-UNICEF Programme “Towards improved formal and non-formal technical and vocational education and training in Lebanon.”

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