Inter-company training with the private sector creates prospects for young Tunisians

Programme description

Title: Inter-company training with the private sector in Tunisia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Tunisia
Lead executing agency: Ministère de la formation professionnelle et de l’emploi (MFPE)
Overall term: 2019 to 2022

Context

Tunisia continues to face significant social and economic challenges. The economy is developing slowly and the official rate of unemployment is on average around 15 per cent, and 23 per cent among women. This is similarly high to the level prior to the start of the revolution.

One way to potentially stimulate the economy is to develop vocational training in Tunisia. The current system is struggling with challenges: Training is heavily school-based; practical elements in schools are rather rare, despite some exemplary initiatives such as in the textile sector, and have so far had too little impact. For example, after their training, job starters do not have the necessary skills for the labour market. In most cases, training is not appropriate for the actual market requirements.

Companies are currently rarely used as a venue for learning in vocational training. There are hardly any incentives for them to get involved in vocational education and training, either financially or in terms of content.

However, politicians, businesses and administrations have recognised that vocational education and training needs to be revamped and have taken initial steps. At the end of 2013, a vocational education and training reform was adopted, but it has so far failed to adhere to the schedule it set itself.

Objective

The employability of Tunisian young people in selected occupational fields has improved.

Approach

In cooperation with the private sector, the project is developing technical training courses in the textile, plastics processing and tourism sectors – adapted to meet industry needs. The curricula in state vocational schools are being developed in close cooperation with vocational training bodies, thus contributing to better networking with regional enterprises.

Tunisian companies that need trained employees are key intermediaries in the project. The project is aimed at sectors with high employment potential. An example here is the Tunisian textile sector, in which around 1,880 companies are active and almost 200,000 people are employed in the sector as a whole. In 2018 alone, 10,000 jobs needed to be filled in this sector.

Companies in Tunisia are to be encouraged to get more involved in vocational training and to communicate the needs of the labour market more clearly. Only a leading role for business in managing and designing training courses will ensure they can keep running in the long term.

This gives companies the chance to meet their needs in terms of well-trained workers. This increases the likelihood they will be able to take on trainees when they complete their training. In addition, the project is providing long-term support for cooperative vocational training in the state system. In the long term, the private sector will be able to provide many services more effectively thanks to the higher standard of training. Further training formats are designed to develop the capacities and knowledge of state vocational training agency employees.

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