Traders are not finding qualified job applicants. Future positions will require leadership and creative skills - Lebanon

Traders are not finding
qualified job applicants
Future positions will require leadership and creative skills
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The trade sector needs to hire professionals in middle management, cost accounting, and management information systems, according to a study conducted by the National Employment Office (NEO), in collaboration with the Beirut Traders Association (BTA) and Société Générale de Banque au Liban (SGBL). The NEO is affiliated with the Ministry of Labor (MoL).

The ‘Labor Force in Trade and Service Enterprise’ study, released yesterday, indicated that around 40 percent of vacancies are in middle management, because of a shortage of qualified labor supply. Nicolas Chammas, Chairman of the Beirut Traders Association (BTA) said that Gulf countries are luring many such employees. Close to 80 percent of employers said they did not fill jobs because there were either no applicants or they were unqualified. Only two percent of respondents indicated that high salary requirements prevented them from filling those vacancies.

“There should be continuous communication between universities and trade companies to orient students towards the requested specializations,” he said.

Salim Chahine, Associate Dean for Research at the American University of Beirut (AUB) said: “The university conducts a program review, every two years, in relationship with large trade companies to bridge the gap, understand the work needs, and set the programs according to the market needs.”

According to the study, vocational and technical institutions could play a big role in graduating students with specializations that meet market needs.

The study showed that 40 percent of jobs to be created are in management and 20 percent by companies needing intellectual, scientific, and creative abilities. Future generations will need to display more leadership skills, according to the study.

The survey was conducted on a sample of 184 trade companies, including large, small and medium enterprises in various activities in Beirut and some areas of Metn and Kesrouan. The study aimed to provide information and statistics about the skills and competences required for the trade sector. This information would help educational institutions to take accurate decisions in developing the skills to match job requirements. It also aimed to forecast needs for skilled labor and compare it to the specializations offered by universities and technical and vocational institutions.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Mar 09, 2016