Morocco: Morocco Tackles Youth Unemployment
By Siham Ali for Magharebia in Rabat – 04/09/2013
Morocco just unveiled a new programme to fight youth unemployment.
With 3.8 million euros of financing from the World Bank, the entrepreneurship initiative will focus on assisting thousands of people under age 30 who have not passed the baccalaureate.
The 4-year project will be implemented in partnership with civil society organisations, Youth Ministry official Younes Jaouhari said at the kick-off event held August 12th – International Youth Day.
“The purpose is to provide them with training that will enable them to start their own small businesses, while offering them the support they need to succeed,” he said.
Sociologist Hakima El Mardi agreed the initiative was a good way of showing young people that they can take their destiny into their own hands and fight unemployment.
“In theory, the beneficiaries will have no difficulty securing funds if they receive mentoring,” she told Magharebia.
In her opinion, the training needs to be well targeted not only at business and legal procedures, but also at entrepreneurship and innovation.
“The government must double its efforts to get young people out of the unstable situation they are in, which could be fatal to young people’s futures. Improving the economic situation of young people will prevent the risk of extremism”, she added.
Political analyst Mehdi Farah agreed that young people needed economic support.
“The guidance must live up to expectations by learning lessons from past experience in this field, such as the Moukawalati programme, which was unable to meet its targets”, he said.
“The problem lies in the need to change the attitudes of many schoolchildren, students and their families who favour the public sector over personal initiative,” Farah added.
Many young people say the idea of setting up their own business worries them, though others would like to have a go but are nervous about the prospect.
Jamal Chatibi, 24, is in the latter category. He has been struggling to find a job since leaving secondary school six years ago.
“As I failed my baccalaureate, it was difficult for me to continue with my studies. I wanted to work, but I could only find work in seasonal small trades,” he told Magharebia. “Self-employment has tempted me several times, but I’m scared of failing. I need training and support from specialists so that they can show me how to go about it.”