The economic situation in Tunisia is not easy. 35 per cent of all young people and one third of all university graduates in the North African country are out of work – in spite of the skills shortages reported in many trades and occupations. As a result,large numbers of people leave their hometowns in search of employment.
On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ),GIZ is assisting young people in Tunisia to improve their long-term job prospects.
Take the coastal region of Monastir,for example,one of the most important locations for the country’s clothing and textiles industry. Here GIZ has worked with the Tunisian company Sartex to set up a modern training centre to meet demand for skilled textile workers. To date,more than 300 young Tunisians have undergone basic training at this centre. Likewise,in the underdeveloped region of Meknassy,the German company Knauf cooperated with GIZ to set up a training centre for drywall construction. Centres such as those in Meknassy or Monastir help raise the appeal of occupations with good hiring potential – and they cater for the needs of business and industry,too. This not only brings about short-term improvements in the job market situation but leads to structural reforms as well.
Furthermore,GIZ is also assisting start-ups and young entrepreneurs like fashion designer Aicha Touijer,who is now living her dream thanks to a GIZ start-up competition. Aicha’s fashion studio now employs four staff members and she is already planning to expand her small company. But she is not alone:more than 400 companies have been launched in the North African country since 2013.
Tunesia is just one of many places in which GIZ is helping improve people’s job prospects. Thanks to the support of GIZ and its partners,in the Middle East/Maghreb region alone,almost half a million people found employment in the period from 2010 to 2015.