Morocco using vocational training to counter high youth unemployment rate

At present, the vocational training system in Morocco consists of one main public provider, the Bureau of Professional Training and Employment Promotion (Office de la Formation Professionnelle et de la Promotion du Travail, OFPPT), which was created in 1974 to increase the pool of professionally trained citizens.

In 2014/15, the OFPPT trained 370,000 people, including over 100,000 for industrial trades, almost 50,000 for the construction and building materials sector, over 25,000 in hospitality and tourism, and nearly 2000 for the logistics and transport sectors.

Institutional Reform

Institutional reforms for vocational training have focused on improving the quality of training, raising the involvement of professionals in both the management and educational components of training centres, as well as improving the distribution of training centres. According to the African Development Bank’s June 2013 appraisal report on training and education in Morocco, the system previously showed a low level of involvement of professionals in strategic management and a lack of an integrated system to support dropouts. In response, the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training (Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Formation Professionnelle, MEFP) adopted a strategy for vocational training development, involving programme contracts with government departments, training providers and professionals as well as an integrated quality assessment system. The partnership with the private sector, central to this strategy, will provide training suited to market needs and thereby better integrate graduates.

Youth Unemployment

 According to the African Development Bank, the high rates of youth unemployment prevalent in Morocco can be attributed to a structural divergence between training and employment. “The needs of the labour force must be understood in order to better position training programmes with appropriate learning outcomes that target needed skills,” Mohamed Slassi, president of the General Confederation of Enterprises of Morocco, told OBG.

The MEFP’s strategy has aimed to improve the integration rate into the labour market of young people graduating from vocational programmes. Among graduates of the 2009 cohort, the integration rate was 61% nine months after the training was completed and 64% three years later. Other plans include establishing an entry route into higher education so that vocational graduates can later access university programmes.

A new initiative called the “Bac Pro” will be implemented in 2015/16 in OFPPT centres, giving graduates the opportunity to pursue higher studies in key sectors. The programme will start with 3000 participants, rising to 140,000 by 2020. The OFPPT aims to train 1m youth overall by 2017. In 2015/16 a total of 16 new centres will be added to the 337 existing OFPPT institutions across the kingdom, bringing the total number of students up to 405,000 from 370,000 in 2014. The OFPPT has increased its training capacity significantly over the years, rising from 184 centres and 54,247 trainees in 2001/02.

Heavy-Duty Skills

A new public-private partnership (PPP) was launched in 2015 between the Moroccan government, USAID, Volvo Group and the OCP Foundation with the objective of establishing a vocational training centre that will help narrow the gap between the supply and demand of skilled labour. The four-year vocational training programme will include 150 students from Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal and is set to foster regional cooperation in skills development within North and West Africa. The initiative will equip participants with the expertise needed for employment in sectors that rely on heavy-duty equipment, such as the automotive industry.

In late 2014 the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Moroccan government announced plans to invest $50m in PPPs working on training for Moroccan youth. This followed the five-year compact agreed in August 2007 between the state and the MCC, which had invested $697.5m in five project areas based on the kingdom’s national growth strategy.