International Review of Education

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 177–197 | Cite as

Livelihood planning and career guidance in Palestine and the broader MENA region



It has often been stated that the Arab “world” is faced by a demographic challenge which is very different to that of many countries in the global North. As the Arab Spring has shown, youths across the region of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are keen to make a mark, and despite the internal conflicts and contests for power and influence, many young leaders are hoping to establish new forms of social cohesion which could lead to peace and prosperity within a globalised, interconnected world. This paper focuses on one aspect of the relationship between Arab youth and society, namely the difficult transition between formal education and employment. Drawing on, among other sources, a comparative study carried out across eight Arab states, the role which career education and guidance can play in the process is examined. This is followed by a case study of Palestine where, despite very challenging and difficult political and economic circumstances, significant and promising efforts have been made to help young people develop the life skills needed to engage with schooling in ways that do not only enhance learning, but also facilitate access to work and to self-employment. The paper argues that while career education and guidance (CEG) cannot possibly be expected to solve the disconnect between education and work, it does have a role to play in enhancing learning, in supporting transitions, and thus in contributing to both social and economic development goals.


Career education and guidance (CEG) Livelihood planning Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Palestine Arab Spring 


Programmation des moyens de subsistance et orientation professionnelle en Palestine et dans la région MENA – Il est fréquemment mentionné que le « monde » arabe est confronté à un défi démographique très différent de celui de nombreux pays dans l’hémisphère Nord. Comme l’a montré le Printemps arabe, les jeunes de la région couvrant le Moyen-Orient et l’Afrique du Nord (MENA) tiennent à faire entendre leur voix, et malgré les conflits internes et les luttes de pouvoir et d’influence, un grand nombre de jeunes chefs de file ont l’espoir d’instaurer de nouvelles formes de cohésion sociale susceptibles d’apporter la paix et la prospérité dans un monde planétarisé et interconnecté. Le présent article se concentre sur un aspect de la relation entre la jeunesse arabe et la société, à savoir la difficile transition entre enseignement formel et emploi. À partir entre autres d’une étude comparée menée dans huit États arabes, l’auteur examine le rôle potentiel de l’orientation professionnelle dans ce processus de transition. Cet examen est suivi d’une étude de cas sur la Palestine qui, en dépit de circonstances politiques et économiques particulièrement complexes et difficiles, a déployé des efforts significatifs et prometteurs pour aider les jeunes à acquérir les compétences pratiques nécessaires pour s’engager dans une scolarité, qui non seulement favorise l’apprentissage mais facilite aussi l’accès au travail et à l’auto-emploi. L’auteur conclut que si l’orientation professionnelle ne peut en aucun cas combler le fossé entre scolarité et travail, elle a certainement un rôle à jouer dans la valorisation de l’apprentissage, en accompagnant la transition et contribuant ainsi aux objectifs du développement tant social qu’économique.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Educational ResearchUniversity of MaltaMsidaMalta

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