Unemployment among young people is particularly high in Morocco. A quarter are neither gainfully employed nor in education. Poverty and hopelessness are the reasons why many young people seek to migrate - either to the urban areas in their own country or, if they can afford it, further ashore for example to Europe.
Particularly, the unemployment rate among young women in rural areas is alarming: 75 per cent have no paid work, often working on family farms and 68 per cent can neither read nor write. Patriarchy is very pronounced in rural areas, and roles are traditionally distributed.
Since November 2018, the IB has been supporting the PEJ II project(„Promotion de l’emploi des jeunes en milieu rural“ / “Promoting youth employment in rural areas”) on behalf of the German Corporation for International Cooperation(GIZ), which aims at improving the employment situation of women and men between the ages of 15 and 35 in the regions of Fès-Meknès (North) and Béni Mellal-Khénifra (Central Morocco). The project has been active since 2015, 2500 young people have already found work with its help. The project is partly funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (BMZ) programme “Returning to New Opportunities”, which offers unsuccessful asylum seekers an opportunity in their country of origin.
In the 26 months that the project will run it is foreseen to expand the network of vocational counselling centres, which accompany and place young job seekers, and it is planned to support young male and female entrepreneurs. The focus will be on training and qualifications. Short-term training courses adapted to the conditions of the rural environment will impart technical skills, which in turn improve employability. The focus is on the relevant labour market sectors in the two project regions: Rural tourism, renewable energies, agriculture and marketing of regional specialities.
The experts working for IB are Moroccan themselves: Our team leader Nadia Mannaoui is an experienced senior consultant in the field of employment promotion while her colleague Mohammed Elhassani has been a consultant and trainer for many years with a focus on education, youth and regional development.