A majority of today’s young refugees have restricted access to employment and often end up in informal and precarious work. Increasingly, unemployment has become the most critical issue to be solved in making refugees less dependent on aid and better able to create a future for themselves during protracted refugee situations. Yet, employment initiatives for refugee youth in Lebanon and Jordan are often implemented without a thorough analysis and understanding of how refugees with varying status may be integrated into the labour market, and what the potential pathways to integration may be. Education is also increasingly being recognized as an integral component in any response to a refugee crisis, yet one of the main shortcomings in the education available to refugees is that it is embedded in a humanitarian logic that sees education interventions as short-term. It is these complex interlinkages shaping youth transitions into the labour market in fragile contexts that this project seeks to explore.
The project, implemented in collaboration with the Centre for Lebanese Studies, will analyze the link between education and employment among youth refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. It aims to inform policy around what kind of interventions related to education and rights associated with status can influence and promote better employment opportunities for different groups of young people in a refugee crisis context. An analysis of the trajectories from education to employment of young refugees and vulnerable young nationals from different legal and socio-economic statuses will be carried out, and youth will be engaged to give them a voice to support their own advocacy.
This project is part of a cohort of research projects in the Middle East and North Africa region on youth trajectories from education to employment and well-being, with a focus on how youth identify solutions and navigate challenges in contexts of fragility and conflict. The cohort aims to map out and analyze the creative solutions youth resort to in securing their livelihoods, and to use these case studies to inform and help other youth as they manage these challenges. The findings of the different research projects in the cohort will be used to inform policies to improve youth livelihoods.