Pilot Project - Jordan and Lebanon

Talent Beyond Boundaries is currently working in Jordan and Lebanon where about 3 million Syrians (and thousands of Iraqis and refugees from other countries) survive on limited humanitarian aid. In both of these countries, the traditional approaches of resettlement, repatriation and local integration are insufficient. As reported by UNHCR, fewer than 1 percent of refugees worldwide are resettled annually.

While many of the refugees living in Jordan and Lebanon held professional jobs before fleeing, both countries have policies of non-integration that place severe limitations on refugees’ rights and opportunities to work.

At the same time, more than 40% of employers around the world report that they face significant skill gaps and experts project that labor shortages will lead to a $10 trillion loss in GDP globally between 2020 and 2030.[2] As a result, many countries offer visas to migrants whose job skills are in demand.

In our first phase, TBB’s goal is to help place a small number of refugees currently living Jordan and Lebanon in jobs around the world. TBB is focused on identifying employment opportunities for refugees in a select number of countries. Currently, TBB is not looking to place refugees in the United States and countries in Western Europe.

As our model is honed and new employment and funding partnerships are developed, our aim is to scale the effort in the Middle East. We think the model has the potential to be replicated for refugee populations in other parts of the world. While the pilot project is focused on professional and highly-skilled refugees, TBB hopes to expand its activities to all skill levels. Conversations are underway with entrepreneurs and NGOs in Lebanon and Jordan who can train refugees in skilled trades with international certification.

 [2]The Global Workforce Crisis, Boston Consulting Group

“When displaced people are allowed to develop their skills and pursue their aspirations, they create new opportunities for growth... The time has come to discard the clichéd image of refugees as passive recipients of aid, sitting idly with outstretched hands. If anything, that image reflects circumstances that have been imposed upon refugees and reinforced by the world’s incomplete response. Refugees are entrepreneurs. They are artists. They are teachers, engineers, and workers of all types. They are a rich source of human capital that we are failing to cultivate.”
— - Secretary General of the United Nations, Fillipo Grandi and United Nations Development Programme Administrator, Helen Clark