Employability Study for Youth and Adolescents in Libya


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UNICEF Libya is pleased to share with you our “Youth Employability Skills Study” supported by the EU and Germany, together with a summary of UNICEF’s wider programme priorities to support adolescents and youth in Libya. 

The study, conducted by UNICEF in 2023, provides a comprehensive overview of Libyan labour market trends as they pertain to the employability of youth aged 15-24. It identifies and maps gaps in the employability skills of youth, evaluates existing government policies and legislation supporting youth employability, and identifies barriers to employability that youth face, considering the differences between genders, formal and informal sectors, and different regions in Libya. 

The findings of this study provide a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities surrounding youth employability, and the actionable recommendations serve as a valuable tool to plan future interventions to support youth in Libya. 

Some key findings include:

  • There are around 1.1 million Libyans between the ages of 15 and 24, with a youth unemployment rate of 51.4%, one of the highest of any country in the world. This is attributed to a weak private sector, limited economic diversification, and a competitive job market dominated by the public and informal sectors.
  • 24% of respondents reported that they were working (including those with part-time and informal roles), while 72.5% were out of work, and 3.5% declined to answer this question. 
  • Youth in Libya face numerous barriers to employment, notably a lack of open positions (45%), limited social connections (32%), inadequate skills (28%), a lack of information about available jobs, and the influence of nepotism in recruitment processes. Women, youth with disabilities, ethnic minorities and those from rural areas face additional specific barriers to accessing employment and training.
  • Over 85% of respondents noted that lack of funding is the key barrier to start up a business and over 12% mentioned bureaucratic impediments/permits. 
  • In terms of essential skills reading (41%) and writing (29%) were the ones identified as most in need of improvement. 
  • Of the advanced skills, the most in need to find a job are English proficiency (50%); interpersonal skills (41%); coding (30%) and knowledge of business/finance and IT (24% each). 

Recommendations to improve youth employability are grouped around 4 thematic pillars, each with their own set of specific recommendations:

  • Improvement to education, training and development programmes available for Libyan youth, including development and rollout of life skills training, and strengthening of the TVET sector;
  • Investment in infrastructure for new and existing training facilities, and support for the construction sector in Libya, a potential employment growth area;
  • Strengthened advocacy around youth employability, changing attitudes to women and marginalized groups in the workplace, and improving the Libyan perceptions of the private sector;
  • Strengthened partnerships and linkages between the youth population, training facilities, and the private sector labor market, and support for entrepreneurship among youth in Libya. 


Youth Employability Skills in Libya - Report Cover
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