Matching skills with needs: A growing emphasis on training and research

Young people aged 15-24 comprise 30% of Morocco’s population of 32.3m, and like most of the region the country is seeking to harmonise and improve the skills of its population with the needs of the market. A mismatch in training and job opportunities has left many young Moroccans without a job. Indeed, a survey published by the World Bank in 2012 revealed that 49% of the country’s youth are neither in school nor in the workforce. As per figures from the High Commission for Planning, young people aged 15 to 24 made up 19.3% of people without jobs in 2013, up from 18.6% in 2012.

NEEDS & SKILLS: A study to determine labour needs released by the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Skills in 2013 revealed that Rabat, Casablanca and Tangiers account for two-thirds of labour needs. Over half of these jobs are found in off-shoring (15%), the automotive industry and aeronautics (20%), and accommodation and catering (22%).

Significant efforts have been undertaken by the Bureau of Professional Training and Employment Promotion (Office de la Formation Professionnelle et de la Promotion du Travail, OFPPT) to bring skills in line with the needs of the job market and address the lack of qualified human resources, particularly in emerging industries. Largely stimulated by the Industrial Emergence Plan, training facilities specifically devoted to the automotive and aeronautics industries, for instance, have proliferated in recent years. Among the latest centre to be inaugurated by the OFPPT is the Morocco Aerospace Institute, which was built at a cost of Dh72.2m (€6.41m) and opened in September 2013. The training centre spans over 15,000 sq metres and has a student capacity to welcome up to 2000 trainees.

COLLABORATION: Closer ties between the business community and higher education institutions are being promoted as part of devising curricula more responsive to the needs of businesses and the economy. Université Internationale de Casablanca, for instance, has established more than 40 agreements with companies and professional associations in a variety of sectors to help absorb graduates. “Given that our economic sectors are still developing, our current markets lack the capacity to absorb the rising number of graduates coming from higher education and vocational training,” Mohamed Tazi, former general director at the École Supérieure de Commerce et Management, a local business school, told OBG. “These graduates are not accustomed to managerial work and need to be trained and encouraged to develop entrepreneurial skills,” he added.

INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT: An $8.15m programme called “Youth at Work” (“Jeunes au travail”) was launched in 2012 by the Ministry of Labour and Professional Training in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation and the Canadian Development Agency. The programme will run until 2016 and aims to assist young Moroccans in their transition to the job market. Focused specifically on Agadir, Oujda and Casablanca-Kénitra, the programme will target developing managerial skills, boosting knowledge of financial services and promoting entrepreneurship.

More recently, in July 2013, Morocco signed a €116m agreement with the World Bank to support harmonisation between training and job market needs. The Training-Employment Matching Support Programme, as it is known, is geared toward supporting reforms in educational and professional training and is targeting 880,000 students in secondary school, 510,000 in higher education, 370,000 interns in vocational training and 30,000 unemployed youth without qualifications.

PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Start-ups are challenged by access to land and financing. A governmental programme known as moukawalati (Arabic for “my business”) was launched in 2006 to encourage entrepreneurship and self-employment, and is focused on providing assistance to young Moroccans who are keen to set up their own business by facilitating procedures and access to finance. Initially, the programme first targeted baccalaureate, professional training and higher education graduates, and as of 2010 came to include any Moroccan aged between 20 and 45.

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The Report: Morocco 2014

Health & Education chapter from The Report: Morocco 2014

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