Ministry of Labor, Alumni Offices Explore Ways to Increase Graduates’ Employability

Representatives from the Ministry of Labor and the Palestinian universities Alumni Offices met on August 9, 2016 in Birzeit University at a discussion panel to exchange their experience and identify measures to facilitate relationships and empower their career services.

Organized by the Alumni and Career Services Office at Birzeit University and the Ministry of Labor, the panel sought to better coordinate efforts between universities and the ministry in enhancing the employability of graduates and ensuring they have skills that match labor market needs.

The meeting was the start of a series of such sessions; the first began with the Alumni and Career Services Office at Birzeit University,  which was chosen to present their distinct accomplishments to the other Palestinian universities. A prime factor distinguishing the Office at Birzeit University is the functions operating within it; alumni relations, career advisory, and labor market relations, allowing the office to provide a wider range of quality services to its students and alumni.

Vice President for Development and Communications Ghassan Khatib expressed his hopes for the meeting, saying that it will pave the way to greater engagement on behalf of our youth. He also emphasized the need to create mutually beneficial relationships to better enhance graduates’ chances in the labor market.

Head of Labour Administration Affairs at the Ministry of Labor Rami Mehdawi pointed out the relationship between education and unemployment rates in Palestine. He explained that a great responsibility rests on universities as providers of the skills and knowledge imparted through a student’s educational process.

“Recent indicators suggest a potential mismatch that exists between the skills of those looking for work and the needs of employers looking to fill vacant jobs. This is why we seek better coordination between universities to enhance the employability of new labor market entrants for the workforce and skill upgrades that match market needs.”

Director of Alumni and Career Services Office Wojdan Farraj gave an overview of the office’s services, which was followed by a discussion between the attendees who changed expertise and looked for opportunities to work together.