Supporting Regular Labour Migration and Mobility between North Africa and Europe

Project description

Title: Towards a Holistic Approach to Labour Migration Governance and Labour Mobility in North Africa (THAMM)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), European Union (EU)
Country: Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia
Partner: The programme is jointly implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Belgian development agency Enabel and GIZ. 
The implementation partner in Germany is the International Placement Service (ZAV) of the German Federal Employment Agency.
Lead executing agency: The Moroccan Ministry of Employment and Professional Integration, the Agency for Employment and Self-employment in Tunisia, the Egyptian Ministry of State for Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs
Overall term: 2019 to 2023

Ausbildung von Elektrikern und Elektrikerinnen in Mosambik. Berufsausbildung am Institut Industrial de Maputo © GIZ / Ute Grabowsky;


As a result of high population growth, a structurally weak economy, and education and training that do not meet the needs of the labour market, there is a lack of employment prospects in many North African countries, particularly for young people. 

Fair and safe labour migration contributes to development in the countries of origin. Young people migrate to Germany, for example, in order to take part in training or pursue gainful employment. There, they develop skills that complete their qualification profile, and therefore expand their professional prospects. 

Cooperation countries benefit from an extended range of employment prospects as well as knowledge transfer through returning migrants or the commitment of the diaspora in the home country. New partnerships arise for national authorities and stakeholders, for example with the German private sector. By contrast, Germany benefits as a host country as it has an opportunity to counter its shortage of skilled workers.

More than 258 million people currently live outside their country of origin as international migrants, and over 160 million of them are labour migrants. Migration is particularly relevant to North African countries. Between ten and 15 per cent of the populations of Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia are currently living outside their home country. 


Partner institutions for labour migration in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia are capable of shaping safe, development-oriented labour migration and mobility with Germany.



The programme follows a holistic approach to migration and mobility for work and training. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is testing how regular labour migration between North Africa and Europe can be organised safely and fairly. To achieve this, partner institutions should facilitate regular migration for the purpose of training or employment for their citizens. At the same time, this should benefit the development of the country and be aligned with the needs of the labour markets in the country of origin and the host country.

The programme’s activities include the following measures:

The programme pilots migration to Germany for work and training. It establishes contacts with German partners, such as the German Federal Employment Agency and future employers.

Useful instruments such as manuals for partner institutions or contact structures for migrants are created and evaluated with the support of the programme. This gives relevant stakeholders the ability to ensure safe, development-oriented labour migration and mobility in the long term.

The programme organises regional exchange formats between national institutions from Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, allowing participants to share lessons learned from the piloted migration and mobility schemes.
Study trips and dialogue formats strengthen the skills of institutions in the education and training fields on the topics of regular labour migration. In this way, the employees can be informed about accreditation requirements, qualification requirements for international labour markets, and risks due to the uncontrolled migration of qualified workers. 

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations and the German Skilled Immigration Act provide the framework for the programme.


  • Since 2019, the programme has linguistically and culturally prepared 127 prospective apprentices from Morocco and Tunisia for living and working in Germany. 
  • 36 trainees started an apprenticeship in the hotel and catering industry in Germany in the autumn of 2020.
  • Tunisian partner institutions from the field of labour migration and vocational training have been informed about the revision of the German Skilled Immigration Act and the resulting prerequisites for labour migration to Germany. In an information event in cooperation with the International Placement Services (ZAV) and the German Economic Institute, they received information and initial reports on how the new law is applied. 

Last update: December 2020

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