Compilation of Successful Instruments from Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine

What is the toolbox about?

The private sector in Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine faces severe challenges in attracting and maintaining qualified and dedicated Blue Collar workers and encouraging young students to decide for the vocational education path. There are several reasons for this, including a lack of information and orientation about the respective sectors and their decent job opportunities, wrong perceptions of working conditions and training/career opportunities as well as predominant societal prejudices about certain occupations. However, companies and other actors (such as NGOs, professional associations1 and public institutions) typically do not dispose of sufficient resources, time and know-how to develop effective instruments from scratch to tackle these challenges.

To support and ease this effort, this toolbox provides ready-made and practice-oriented instruments aiming at enhancing societal acceptance and attractiveness of vocational education and Blue Collar work and to encourage students, graduates and job seekers to work in this field. Even though the main focus of the toolbox is the promotion of Blue Collar employment as well as vocational education and occupations in selected sectors/profiles, the instruments compiled in this toolbox are flexible enough to be used in other sectors and can be quickly adapted to the specific needs of the users.

Although this toolbox does not claim to be exhaustive, it includes a broad range of tools which are effective, in large parts innovative, tailored to the specific needs of young graduates and job seekers and which have been field-tested in the Egyptian, Lebanese and Palestinian context. They have been formulated for immediate practical application and contain a wealth of experiences as compiled while piloting.

The basis for the toolbox has been provided by the programme “Promotion of Blue Collar Jobs” initially and was complemented by the experience of other GIZ projects.

The instruments in the toolbox have proven their effectiveness in the framework of a number of programmes related to employment promotion and vocational education (see below “What is the GIZ Sector Network For Sustainable Economic Development - Middle East and North Africa?”) In the framework of these projects and programmes, a range of pilot measures were field-tested to promote Blue Collar employment opportunities and vocational education in a needs-based approach and implemented jointly with the private sector and civil society in Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine. The main focus of the Blue Collar related measures was on job orientation by filling information gaps through the development of promotion and communication initiatives, embracing elements of job quality and training.

For the purpose of this toolbox, the term "Blue Collar worker" refers to a worker undertaking any manual labour, in line with the OECD standard definition of this term for statistical purposes2. Furthermore, the term "Blue Collar work" refers to jobs requiring technical education as well as to numerous job profiles in the field of industry, small trades, sales and handicrafts.

1. For the purpose of this toolbox, the term "professional association" is used when referring to a network of companies in a specific sector, such as chambers.
2. "…employees who are engaged in fabrication, assembly and related activities, material handling, warehousing and shipping, maintenance and repair, janitorial and guard services, auxiliary production (such as power plants), and other services closely related to the above activities… "


The sector network combines the know-how of more than 120 GIZ colleagues, covering 24 programmes in 8 countries. It enhances the capacities of the network members through regional and multi-sector cooperation. SN MENA’s approach is based on the vision of “socially and ecologically balanced sustainable economic development”. Therefore, the network focuses on the enhancement of the business climate as well as on the promotion and creation of productive employment, especially for young people.

Further information: LINK

In this compilation of Blue Collar and vocational education image promotion approaches you will find the learning experiences of the following GIZ programmes:

"Promotion of Blue Collar Jobs - Increasing the Attractiveness of Selected Job Profiles with High Employment Potential in Egypt" (Chapters 1-7)

The Project "Promotion of Blue Collar Jobs - Increasing the Attractiveness of Selected Job Profiles with High Employment Potential in Egypt" (April 2012 - April 2014) aimed at the enhancement of societal acceptance and attractiveness of selected job profiles in the Blue Collar sector in order to improve income opportunities for young Egyptian job seekers. With its pilot measures, the project aimed at tackling the deficient matching of supply and demand within the Egyptian Blue Collar labour market, which is further worsened by a negative perception of technical education and most Blue Collar job profiles. By means of social marketing and adapted PR measures as well as sector-oriented activities in the field of career orientation, employment services and training, job-seekers, employees, companies and the society should gain a better understanding of the relevance and value created by Blue Collar jobs. In detail, the following initiatives were developed and implemented in the framework of the PBC Project:

  • "INTELAQ": A social marketing campaign in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector, focussing on changing perceptions and behavioural patterns linked to the job profile "driver". Elaboration of a comprehensive social marketing study, development of a social marketing strategy and partners' guidebook, in collaboration with the private sector, as well as implementation of selected instruments.
  • "Shoghlana": A series of highly innovative and youth-oriented instruments to change perceptions on Blue Collar work and to enhance information and job orientation related to this topic. Development and dissemination of the highly successful regular Blue Collar magazine "Shoghlana" (which will be carried on after project end through a partnership between ILO and an Egyptian marketing consultancy). Initiation of a drawing competition and a Blue Collar song.
  • Collaboration with the Chamber of Industries of Printing and Packaging and PETRA Skills and Career Centre: Development and implementation of a series of measures aiming at enhanced information, orientation, communication and perception of Blue Collar employment opportunities in this sector. Development and dissemination of sector-specific job profiles.
  • "Khalta Goes Textile": Mobilisation of rural communities, training, product design, marketing and selling of patchwork textile handicraft made by women of the village Khalta in Fayoum. More details can be found here
  • Collaboration with the private company "Malaika Linens" and the Boulaq Community Centre (located in Zamalek, Cairo) of the NGO "EpiscoCare": Mobilisation of marginalised urban communities (mainly Boulaq and Imbaba), training of women in hand embroidery, generating income through home work with hand embroidery.

The project was financed by the Open Regional Fund for Youth Employment in the MENA Region commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In addition, selected experiences of the National Employment Pact (link), an initiative of the Egyptian-German Business Community in cooperation with the German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GACIC) were also included in this toolbox wherever helpful.

„Employment Promotion“ in Egypt (Chapter 8)


In 2012, Egypt’s unemployment rate reached its highest level for ten years. Young people between the ages of 15 and 30 are particularly affected, making up around 90% of the country’s unemployed. At the same time, a growing number of job vacancies cannot be adequately filled. Across all sectors, companies are complaining about the low level of young job-seekers’ qualifications. There is a lack of institutionalised cooperation between policy-makers and economic actors on the issue of promoting youth employment.


In a partnership between the public and private sectors, policy-makers and economic actors are implementing reforms for the promotion of youth employment.


Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-financed by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), this programme supports the Egyptian Government in developing new, proactive employment policy measures. The main focus is on close cooperation between private-sector associations and public institutions.

Main areas of support:

  • Policy advice and strategic planning of vocational education. The programme supports the Ministry of Education in contributing actively to the national dialogue on employment and developing monitoring and evaluation competencies that will allow it to take a more evidence-based approach to developing reforms and programmes.
  • Greater involvement of the private sector. The programme advises private sector associations on the development of demand-driven labour market services in the fields of further education and training.
  • Provision of labour market information. The programme is working with the private sector associations to establish regional monitoring structures. This will improve the information base for policy-makers, as well as the advisory and placement services available to job seekers.
  • Introduction of new career guidance services. The programme supports private and public actors in implementing target group-specific models of careers guidance. These help to ensure the better placement of young people in jobs or training courses that meet the existing demand.
  • Development of demand-based training measures. The programme supports the Ministry of Education and selected private institutions in aligning their training measures with the employment potential of the Egyptian labour market, and expanding the scope of these measures.

“Promotion of Vocational Education & Small and Medium Enterprise Development” in Lebanon (Chapter 8)


When we think of Lebanon, we automatically conjure up images of civil war and destruction. The way in which the country is perceived internationally has largely been influenced by the military conflict which lasted till 1990, and the July War in 2006.

In addition to the devastating effects on society, these events have been very damaging for the economy. The Lebanese economy is also affected by increased competition from foreign manufacturers, including countries from the European Union and Mediterranean region, which makes economic reconstruction and development even more difficult. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular bear the brunt. SMEs account for 95 percent of Lebanese industry, and are the country's largest employer. There is a lack of job opportunities for young adults and semi-skilled employees. At the same time, demand is growing for well-trained specialists and middle management. Education and training therefore play a key role in the Lebanon’s economic development. Like other education and training systems in the MENA region, the Lebanese system is outdated and out of touch with current practices. Vocational training is too theoretical. On the one hand, the private sector finds it difficult to recruit skilled young professionals, yet on the other, it is only prepared to play a minor role in their training. The poor public perception of vocational training for trades and industry means that young people have little interest in pursuing a career in these areas.


The number of skilled experts employed in the supported professions and qualifications has increased.


Public and private-sector institutions in Lebanon plan to work together to shape cooperative vocational training. GIZ plays a supporting role through its programme to promote the dual system, master tradespersons and small and medium enterprises (DSME programme). It advises the Ministry for Education and Higher Education and the Federation of the Chambers and works with regional chambers and associations, and with training colleges and companies.

GIZ development workers work in some of the vocational training colleges. GIZ helps Lebanon to implement the dual training system in eight occupations in industries, trades and tourism services. Together with its partners, it also provides training for master tradespersons, currently in four professions. It helps run campaigns to inform young people about the education, training and labour market, and aims to raise their interest and that of employers in vocational training for skilled occupations.

Teacher training constitutes another focus, to ensure good training standards in the long term.

GIZ brings together partners and institutions from the public and private sectors. Cooperative (dual) training can only be shaped by pulling together, making the necessary adjustments and setting the legal framework.

Expanding cooperative vocational training will increase the workload of employees in the institutions involved, to include new responsibilities, procedures and negotiation processes. GIZ trains, advises and supports personnel during this transition, to enable them to carry out their new tasks in the demand-oriented vocational training sector reliably and competently.

“Promotion of TVET and Labour Market” in Palestine (Chapter 8)


The Palestinian vocational training system cannot provide an adequate supply of specialists for the labour market or train specialists in line with demand so that they can find work even in neighbouring countries. Moreover, given the political situation in the Palestinian territories and the conflicts in the region, the vocational training and labour market systems are not in a position to train employable workers in preparedness for a potential economic upturn.


An integrated vocational training and labour market strategy has been implemented as part of the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan. Conditions for ongoing implementation and development have been created.

Young workers have the necessary skills to find employment, maintain their employability and remain active in the labour market, thereby making the Palestinian economy more competitive.


The programme is promoting integrated approaches to improve vocational training, employment and the labour market. The vocational training strategy is helping to develop, establish and put in place all the vital structures and standards required to ensure that vocational training is relevant to the labour market. New curriculums and training courses as well as modern teaching methods are leading to improved technical, social and personal skills. The resulting qualifications are transparent, geared to the requirements of the labour market, and comparable to other national and international qualifications.

In particular, the labour market strategy is helping young people find employment by matching supply to labour market needs. Using an integrated approach, the programme is supporting those institutions that offer vocational training and labour market services, and is working with various stakeholders in the vocational training sector throughout the Palestinian territories. The programme is also receiving additional support from financial cooperation with the European Union and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (DEZA).

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise, supporting the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. Most of its work is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.


Each tool is composed of three parts:

  1. The first part helps the user to decide whether this tool is the most appropriate one for the specific challenge s/he would like to tackle. It also provides information on how many resources are required and how long it takes to implement this tool.
  2. The second part "What To Do" describes in a step-by-step approach what to do in order to implement the tool.
  3. The third part "What To Observe" / "Pros and Cons" summarises most important recommendations in order to make sure that the tool is successfully implemented.
  4. In addition, for each chapter in the annex a list of ready-made materials, studies and reports are provided for further usage and inspiration (mainly English, some are provided in Arabic).

By carefully reading the tool's introduction page the user should first verify whether this tool is helpful for its specific challenge and purpose and whether s/he has sufficient resources to implement the tool. Based on this decision, s/he can follow the step-by-step instructions ("What To Do") while observing the recommendations ("What To Observe"). The materials provided in the annex can serve as inspiration and can help with the implementation of the tool.

In general, it is highly recommended to pursue an integrated approach by not only implementing one tool but combining it with a set of different tools. In particular, promotion and communication activities (such as tools presented in chapter 1 and chapter 2) should be combined with elements of job profiling, job orientation and job quality (chapter 3, chapter 4 and chapter 5). Thus, not only the image and perception of Blue Collar employment is being enhanced, but the quality of Blue Collar work places will be improved and job seekers as well as students and graduates can be better oriented towards decent Blue Collar employment opportunities based on clear job profiles. At the same time, forming partnerships (as described in chapter 7) should always be taken into consideration for better outreach and effectiveness. An electronic version of the toolbox can also be found at under "Promotion of Blue Collar Jobs"

what is inside the toolbox?

In the following 8 chapters the toolbox comprises 40 tools. Just click the buttons below to get to the chapter.


>> Complete Toolbox PDF (70MB)
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>> Troubleshooting PDF (1,7MB)