How to Solve Libya's Unemployment Problem

This week we carry a report that the unemployment rate in Libya has fallen to 15 percent, a figure that many find hard to believe.

By some estimates, as many as 600,000 people -- ten percent of the total population -- are employed in the shadow economy; this is about the same as the number believed to be working in the legitimate private sector.

An over-dependence on a bloated state sector is a problem in many dictatorships, and the problem tends to continue under new regimes, as any moves towards market economics are resisted by those with an interest in the status quo.

The general problem of unemployment won't be solved by training and up-skilling alone, but for many individuals this can dramatically improve their prospects. In what it describes as "the first donor-funded intervention of its kind in Libya", the European Union has announced its support for a new vocational education and training programme which should help many into paid employment, contributing to the development of the country.

If you were the Minister for Labour, what would you do to solve the problem of unemployment? Please let us know in the Comments section below.

4 Responses to How to Solve Libya's Unemployment Problem

  1. Philip Hodkinson 2nd April 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    This is what I reported in earlier comments after my visit to Libya last year.
    The way to reducing unemployment in Libya is no different to any other economy, UK included.
    I suggested that Libyans instigate a programme of vocational training, starting with the Oil and Gas sector. The key is to provide people with the tools to carry out the jobs that will appear within any growing economy, producing more home products and services will maintain that growth.
    I have many years experience in Vocational training programmes and offered my services to establish such schemes in Libya.

    The UK has neglected to maintain training and production levels capable of paying for their social developments for many years now. Hence the state of their economy at this time.
    Libya has the means to fund this now. Sadly much of Europe and the UK in particular, no longer have.

  2. jenni Lishman 2nd April 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    I go to Libya each year to visit my greatest friends who are Libyan.I will visit soon. Many good houses are being built. My friend lives in one unfinished house. Libyans have never been trained in the necessary skills such as professional standard tile laying, good quality painting etc. So my friends have to resort to employing well trained tilers from Egypt or Chad and elswhere. So high quality professional standard,skills need to be taught within Libya.It could be a big step forward for employment in single person businesses if Libyans were competant in these skills. Why not employ good tilers from other nearby countries to train Libyans in these skills.

  3. Kimberly Jones 3rd April 2013 at 12:56 am #

    My recommendation to Libya Ministers as a cross functional team is to work together to leverage all opportunities to reduce unemployment in Libya. As Libya is implementing an aggressive plan to rebuild Libya's Infrastructure and attract Foreign Investment, it is important to put requirements in place to ensure that Libyans are hired.

    This may mean that Foreign companies will need to hire to train for some jobs, particularly some skilled and unskilled labor. The Department of Labor should consider making OJT (on the job training) funds available for companies that are willing to hire and train Libyan workers, or provide a tax credit to these companies.

    Additionally, the Department of Labor should work closely with Foreign Companies who are looking to hire and would normally seek foreign nationals for professional or paraprofessional positions to determine if there are Libyan nationals who are qualified to fill the positions. We know that there are many highly qualified Libyans who are unemployed, and there is not a good avenue to introduce them to well paying Foreign Companies.

    On the other hand,Foreign Companies do not feel there are adequate resources to fulfill their needs. This means there is a disconnect that needs to be corrected.

  4. R.Abouen 15th April 2013 at 9:03 am #

    I think there is a big heritage of disorder in education and Vocational training in Libya which is in need of big reforms to start with And this is really the only gate way to produce able and confident effective Man power there is no way for the Minister of Labor to solve this problem alone His Ministry and Ministry of Education should intertwine their targets and efforts and should play a big roll in defining the set of educational and training curriculum's in a way to serve the needs and requirements of the industries and needs of updated technologies of our current times ,Also there should be tougher Managerial and administrative control on the way that our middle and high schools run there should be more disciplined attitude from headmasters to teachers , pupils and students which will be at the end reflected on producing better ,responsible ,effective ,capable and disciplined young work force that can be accepted by all employers weather Local or foreign I think the best example to follow is the Germans example at best and the Filipino example from practicable point of view their Conduct Education and ability to speak English mad them liked by everyone for employment and they are able to be productive in many different jobs

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