Job prospects create an incentive to stay: GIZ is promoting employment in Tunisia and Morocco

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is working on behalf of the German Government to help young people in Morocco and Tunisia to improve their job prospects. With the support of GIZ, over 1,700 young people in Tunisia have been able to find their first job. Unemployment is still very high in this country where the Arab Spring began six years ago. A third of university graduates are still without work – despite the fact that many sectors of the economy are urgently seeking qualified professionals. To address this need, GIZ is working in conjunction with the private sector and industry in Tunisia to make those professions more attractive in which there is a high chance of finding employment. It is also working to create a better fit between the training offered and the needs of employers. This approach is creating new jobs, especially in economically weak regions. An example of this is the drywall installation business, a relatively new sector. Here GIZ and German company Knauf have set up a modern training centre near Maknassy, a town in the Sidi Bou Zid region, where young people can complete a training course and then either find a job or set up their own business. This enables them to stay in their home region, work in an up-and-coming sector and contribute to the region’s development. Examples like this are intended to have a broad impact and help improve the employment situation in Tunisia.

GIZ is also supporting endeavours to create employment opportunities for people in Morocco. ‘The renewable energy sector in Morocco has particularly high job creation potential,’ says Jürgen Dierlmaier, GIZ Country Director in Morocco. The country is pursuing an ambitious goal: to generate 42 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. ‘Morocco needs highly skilled personnel if it is to meet this goal,’ says Dierlmaier. One person who fits that description is 25-year-old businessman Jaouad Ait Rabeh, who comes from the economically weak province of Ouarzazate. His company used to sell solar energy systems. With the support of training programmes organised by the local chambers of commerce, he has expanded his range of services and now trains people in selling and installing solar energy systems. Word has spread throughout the whole country and over the last two years his company has trained 500 people from all over Morocco. In this way, he has not only turned former competitors into customers, he has also created five permanent jobs and generated work for another five trainers. ‘This has enabled me to increase my income fourfold,’ says the businessman proudly.

GIZ provides support for training schemes, like the one Jaouad attended, at Morocco’s chambers of commerce, chambers of agriculture and chambers of trades and crafts. They target a number of different sectors and are attended each year by around 500 young entrepreneurs. Subjects covered include management or business start-up, for example. GIZ is also supporting the establishment of training centres for the renewable energy sector. One of these centres is in Oujda, close to the Algerian border. GIZ’s activities here included helping to develop curricula and training teachers. The goal is for at least 50 highly qualified skilled workers to complete their training here and find work in a renewable energy business.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the fields of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education. GIZ assists people and societies in shaping their own futures and improving their living conditions.