Forward MENA, in partnership with UNICEF and the World Bank has designed and is managing the Foresetch Platform, which provides e-learning courses to equip Lebanon's youth with the digital skillset required to seize the opportunities of today and tomorrow. The platform aims to bridge the gap between education outcomes and the ever-evolving needs of the labor market through state-of-the-art online programs at discounted certifications.

A new national online learning platform called 'Forastech' will provide young people in Lebanon with access to affordable, subsidized, and easily accessible digital skills learning endorsed by global tech giants like Microsoft, LinkedIn, and AWS. The certificates granted by these industry leaders will not only amplify their skills but also open doors to specialized employment opportunities.

UNICEF and the World Bank launched the 'Forastech' platform at the Grand Serail in Beirut. Developed under the PROSPECTS program and funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the platform aims to empower, educate, and uplift young people aged between 17 and 32 from all socio-economic backgrounds in Lebanon. The platform is implemented by Forward MENA, an NGO founded by Beirut Digital District to address the talent gap between education outcomes and labor market needs and develop the digital skillset of youth.

Under 'Forastech', partnerships have also been developed with the Ministries of Education and Higher and Education, Social Affairs, Labor, Youth and Sports, as well as the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform (OMSAR) to ensure the platform caters specifically to the needs of Lebanon's most vulnerable youth.

Through 'ForasTech', users can review the market's most in-demand careers and current trends, compare their skills against selected careers to pinpoint a learning development pathway and receive a job-matching scorecard against the career they select. They can also receive recommendations for learning pathways, as well as support and guidance to identify, prepare and apply for jobs that are accessible through the platform itself.

'Forastech' aims to support 5,000 eligible youth in completing free training courses on the platform, out of which 1,000 are expected to complete free certificates, and 200 are expected to secure a work opportunity. Certificates signed by Microsoft, LinkedIn, and AWS among others will boost their skills and qualifications in specialized areas, most demanded by employers.

The 'Forastech' platform will cater to a diverse range of young people, whether they seek to upskill in software development, data, artificial intelligence (AI), marketing design, financial administration, customer relationship management (CRM), or content and document processing.

Prospects: innovative partnership for hosting refugees

Prospects is an international partnership program aimed at strengthening refugee hosting and protection in countries of origin. The project is funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Prospects aims to help refugees in building a new life and to better integrate in their new country. Supporting host communities and strengthening social cohesion are therefore key parts of the partnerships’ approach.

Prospects, initiated by the Netherlands, will invest €500 million in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Funds will be invested in programs that assist refugees and their host communities with education, skills, and employment. Safeguarding refugees’ human rights is another theme Prospects will focus on. Programs and projects will involve local governments as well as the private sector. Partners in the Prospects partnership are:

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NO Comment 3rd October 2023

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