Palestinian Employment Programme: Creating & Protecting Jobs in the OPT (Strengthening Labour Market Governance & Rights)

Project Number





Saudi Arabia


Occupied Palestinian Territory



Unit Responsible

Regional Office for Arab States


The Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza are still facing acute suffering, declining living standards, and increasing poverty and unemployment. There is intensifying social and territorial disintegration, a tight network of closures, sophisticated controls, and the expansion of illegal settlements. Multiple barriers to and controls on mobility of people and goods have intensified. The land, sea and air borders of the Gaza Strip are firmly controlled and sealed by the occupying power, leading to virtually complete isolation. Three main factors have led to the further deterioration of the situation: (1) the financial embargo imposed by the international community on the Palestinian Authority (PA) has had devastating effects on the Palestinian people and economy; (2) the withholding of Palestinian tax revenues by Israel, resulting in a loss to the budget of an average monthly income of about US$60 million; and (3) tight restrictions on the mobility of Palestinian people and goods both within and between the territories, and to Israel and other countries, have restricted the Palestinian economy from operating, other than minimally. The restrictions on freedom of movement also have a strong social and employment impact as it results in the partition of Palestinian communities, impeding access to land, enterprises, places of work, and basic social services such as health and education.


The project aims to contribute towards building a Palestinian State through creating sustainable enterprises and greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment and income. It focuses on:

  • Strengthening labour market governance.
  • Programme strategy for improving employability through skills, and local economic development
  • Strengthen entrepreneurship culture for private sector growth through the development of competitive and productive cooperatives and MSMEs.

Expected results

Upon completion of the project, the following results will be achieved:

  • The Palestinian Employment Fund operationalized through the establishment of an Employment Support Unit
  • A labour market observatory is established and provides accurate and timely information on the labour market.
  • Local employment councils comprising private and public sector representatives, vocational training providers and local administration are operational and provide guidance to reduce the gap on skills supply and demand in the labour market.
  • Selected number of public employment offices are modernized and work successfully together with the private sector in reducing existing skills gaps and act as a referral focal point for job seekers
  • Capacity building of Employment Department of the Ministry of labour for improved service provision in job brokerage, vocational guidance and career counselling.
  • The capacity of the MOL, employers’ and workers organizations to mainstream gender is strengthened
  • The vocational training system is modernized, responds to labour market needs and establishes partnerships with the private the sector.
  • New jobs are created and available employment opportunities are protected through enhanced local economic development capacity.
  • Employment opportunities through the promotion of cooperatives are generated.
  • Policy and regulatory framework reviewed to facilitate the procedures for SME development increase their representation in the decision making process and improve the environment for encouraging new start-ups.
  • Entrepreneurship culture (awareness of enterprises and positive attitudes towards self-employment as a career option) fostered in the country targeting Palestinians in the educational system (including technical and vocational education as a first phase) as well as retirees, retrenched public sector employees and vulnerable groups (second phase).
  • Institutional capacity for the provision of BDS including the facilitation of access to credit built/enhanced with specific programmes targeting youth and women.
  • A productivity improvement programme to upgrade MSMEs in the industrial and agro-industrial sector launched.
  • Improved access of women to the labour market through dissemination of knowledge on women business development, women in the informal economy and training for women entrepreneurship development

For further information, please contact:

Jean-Francois Klein

Last update:03.04.2012

Document symbol: PAL/08/01/SAU
Document Type: Note, Project
Document Sources: International Labour Office (ILO)
Country: Saudi Arabia
Subject: Assistance, Economic issues, Governance, Statehood-related, Women
Publication Date: 03/04/2012