Helping people find work in Egypt

03.08.2015 – In Egypt, job seekers and job vacancies frequently bypass each other. This is where the National Employment Pact (NEP) comes in. GIZ is supporting its efforts to put people in work.

German and Egyptian companies have joined with the German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK) to set up the National Employment Pact (NEP), with a view to better aligning supply and demand on the Egyptian job market. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is supporting this initiative on behalf of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

For the past ten years, this Arab country has experienced an unabated rise in youth unemployment. According to Egyptian sources, it is now currently somewhere in the region of 29 per cent. Be this as it may, many companies still have great difficulty filling vacancies with well-qualified and motivated employees. This applies in particular to the non-academic job market where offers for young job seekers are often unacceptable – job demands are too high and safety regulations insufficient.

There are no structures or institutions to help place people in jobs and bridge the gap between job seekers and job vacancies. Job-market openings for young people are available, in particular, in industrial production, the service and security sectors as well as in sales.

And this is where the National Employment Pact comes in: over the past four years, it has led to the creation of employment agencies that register job offers and then identify and put forward suitable job seekers. ‘Employers and employees alike now put a lot of trust in these employment agencies,’ says Hartmut Jarosch, who works at AHK in Cairo on a job placement organised by the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM).

To qualify for registration, all jobs offers first have to meet set conditions in terms of minimum pay, a written contract of employment, social welfare benefits and compliance with job safety standards. Since November 2011, there have been almost 60,000 of them.

The quest to find work for the nearly 30,000 registered job seekers has led to the development of special software. Three employment agencies now employ around 50 job agents certified to AHK standards. To date, they have helped more than 4,000 job seekers find work.

Furthermore, young applicants are readied for employment via an induction scheme that introduces them to the world of work. They learn what makes for a good application, how to write a CV and what a contract of employment entails. Likewise, they are informed about the demands a company places on its employees. This is important as the majority of young job seekers have no idea what an employer expects in terms of vocational qualifications, punctuality, motivation, a willingness to learn or a capacity to accept and work with criticism. To date, some 3,500 young adults have attended these job preparation courses.

Through its work, most of which is on behalf of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ’s annual global outreach in the field of vocational education encompasses around 140,000 trainees and some 4,300 vocational training establishments.