A future for young people – more permanent job prospects in Tunisia

A drywall apprenticeship or a Star Wars tour guide: An employment fund is implementing a wide array of projects designed to improve job opportunities for Tunisia’s young people

Many young people in Tunisia are unable to find work. In some of the more disadvantaged regions, almost 50 per cent of them are jobless. At the same time, a substantial number of Tunisian companies are unable to satisfy their demand for skilled workers.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is helping to resolve this structural issue using a fund that promotes training and employment for young people in Tunisia, particularly in disadvantaged regions. Managed and coordinated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, this fund is currently implementing 30 projects, mostly in cooperation with companies and civil society organisations. The most successful activities are then extended to other sectors.

Take, for example, the training centre for drywall construction which the German company Knauf established with GIZ in Meknessy. Drywalling is a construction technique that opens the door to many different employment opportunities. More than 700 young Tunisians have already completed their training with Knauf and more than half of them were able to find a job immediately afterwards.

GIZ is also working with the local population, NGOs and government institutions to promote the development of innovative and sustainable tourism products – and thus jobs – in the country’s interior, with a specific focus on younger members of Tunisian society. Some 40 years ago, for example, the salt lake region close to Tozeur became the location of the first film in the cult Star Wars series. The film sets remain intact to this day and a project is now delivering further training to 80 local tour guides and artisanal craftspeople, as well as building up local infrastructure, including cafés and car parking facilities.

This and other fund-backed projects are generating results: around 3,000 young people have already found work and almost 5,000 have undergone basic or further training. Tunisia is just one of many countries in which GIZ is helping to improve people’s job opportunities. Thanks to the inputs by GIZ and its partners, more than 1.3 million people worldwide were able to access basic and further training between 2010 and 2015.

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