Luminus Education: education for the employment of vulnerable youth
Submitted by: Ibrahim Al Safadi, Founder and CEO, Luminus Education
Email: [email protected]
Social: Luminus Technical University College
VIDEO: Luminus Education.
Introduction to the project
Growth plans (near future): MENA region
2016 - Ongoing
The project started in 2016, the same time when our collaboration with donors began, and it is ongoing.
Provision of high quality, internationally certified vocational & technical education for vulnerable youth and refugees through donor-funded scholarships and guaranteed employment.
• Provide demand driven, world-class, internationally- certified education leading to sustainable jobs
• Address the mismatch between educational outcomes and labour market needs
• Improve livelihoods of the youth
• Stimulate economic growth
After the Syrian crisis, the Jordan Response Plan that resulted from the London Conference in 2016 enabled Luminus Education to work with the Government of Jordan and International Donor community to provide funded scholarships to Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians. The agreement to open designated sectors so Refugees could access legal employment allowed Luminus to link training directly to employment opportunities.
- European Union
- Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education
- The Jordan National Employment-Technical and Vocational Education and Training (E-TVET) Fund
- Jordan Ministry of Labour
- International Education partners: SAE International, Pearson, Hagga Helia University, and Code Fellows.
Challenges and how they were overcome
• Persuading the Government and INGOs to work directly with a Private Sector organisation.
• Changing the perception of the youth towards technical and vocational education.
• Raising funding to cover the cost of practical TVET programmes which require time to develop sufficient competence to work safely and effectively.
• Recruitment and employment of Syrian refugees.
• Building internal capacity quickly enough to meet demand.
How they were overcome:
• Working on an outcomes based, payment by results model with agreed KPIs.
• Awareness campaigns.
• High quality facilities that simulate best practice workplaces.
• Demand driven programmes validated by or developed with employers.
• Networking and lobbying efforts to raise funding.
• High level discussions with the government of Jordan to change polices concerning the education and employment of refugees.
Results of the Good Practice
- By securing, to date, scholarships for 10,500 vulnerable youth, including over 5500 refugees to high quality education that leads to job placement, which translates into improved livelihood.
- Graduating employable youth, ready for the job market, which in turn could reduce the unemployment rate and stimulating growth. In 2018/2019 employment for 2000 was directly facilitated.
How the project meets the GCR Objectives
Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries
Scholarships have been secured for both Refugee and vulnerable Jordanians so that Host communities also receive support to improve livelihood opportunities. Classes usually have a mix of nationalities and this has promoted understanding of the other’s situation, broken down stereotypes and aided social cohesion.
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
The majority of the scholarship opportunities are linked to employment opportunities which are facilitated by LTUC. Self-reliance is also enhanced through a number of delivery aspects e.g. Stipends are distributed monthly via smart cash cards; blended learning is included to promote self-directed learning. A study skills module helps students learn how to study.
Objective 3: Expand access to third-country solutions
Many of the scholarships are internationally accredited through Pearson who have formal recognition in over 50 countries and link qualifications to most national qualifications frameworks through the UK National Qualifications Framework and the EU Qualifications Framework. This facilitates benchmarking qualifications and ensures the standards achieved are recognised by Employers and by Governments in formal visa application processes.
Objective 4: Support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity
Qualifications delivered are recognised in Syria so refugees will be able to demonstrate achievement and gain recognition if and/or when then choose to return to Syria.
Luminus is now serving more than 10,000 students/year in a range of market driven programs that lead to employment; with the percentage of graduates employed achieving 100% in some programs.
The plan is to improve the livelihood opportunities of 100,000 students/year by 2030 by extending the range of programs to address gaps in the market, opening new campuses across the MENA region and introducing a flexible learning option.