Morocco sees vocational training as way to boost employment, growth

Moroccan economy needs graduates of vocational training programmes in all specialities.
Sunday 21/04/2019
Shaping the future. Young Moroccans walk past solar mirrors at the Noor 1 Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant, some 20km outside the central Moroccan town of Ouarzazate. (AFP)
Shaping the future. Young Moroccans walk past solar mirrors at the Noor 1 Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant, some 20km outside the central Moroccan town of Ouarzazate. (AFP)

RABAT - The Moroccan government is expecting a lot from a vast programme implementing training platforms for professionals and qualified job seekers to deal with unemployment issues by providing new jobs and boosting economic growth.

Specialists said the Moroccan economy needs graduates of vocational training programmes in all specialities. They pointed out that it would be important for the state to invest in training because it is a factor that would encourage local and international companies to invest in Morocco.

Officials said reforming education, vocational training and scientific research are among major objectives of governmental efforts to increase economic, scientific and technical development in Morocco.

Minister of National Education, Vocational Training and Higher Education Saeed Amazazi recently released details of the $373 million plan to train young people in all regions of the country to prepare them for the modern labour market.

“This road map builds on the gains made in the vocational training sector,” said Amazazi. “It also aims at rehabilitating and restructuring it in line with the requirements of the labour market, as well as updating and developing pedagogical methods and improving the employability of young people through a range of short-term certification programmes.”

The Vocational Training Office said vocational training in Morocco involves about 370,000 trainees, 7,400 teachers, 2,245 collaborators and more than 271 professions and specialities.

Mohamed Nawfal Amer, national coordinator of the Moroccan Association of Youth and Students, said: “Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani must accelerate the implementation of the royal directives since they are closely linked to the interests of young people and will help them to join the labour market.”

He pointed out that youth education and vocational training have become an urgent need to support a strong local economy and to survive in today’s globalised one.

The plan points to the importance of learning foreign languages, diversification of competencies and involvement of professionals.

The “Cities of Professions and Competencies” programme would accommodate programmes targeting young people working in the parallel economy to enable them to integrate into the formal economy. The gradual offering of training programmes is to begin by 2021.

Agriculture and industry remain major and promising sectors in Morocco and would be targeted by many of the training programmes. For example, there would be programmes in Agadir and Casablanca designed for ship building.

Lubna Trisha, director-general of the Office for Vocational Training and Promotion of Employment, said the goal of the programme was to make vocational training a means for self-realisation and a way forward.

“This project seeks a profound rehabilitation of the vocational training sector to keep abreast with the kingdom’s economic development and competitiveness of companies by making qualified human resources a competitive advantage,” said Trisha. She added that the programme would facilitate the integration of young job seekers in the job market.

Trisha said there would be the adoption of various training courses designed with the help of professionals and matching specificities of each region. Trainees would have access to modern equipment like that found in real work conditions.

A new governmental approach has been adopted, based on involvement of professionals from various sectors, that would allow flexibility in matching the changing needs of the labour market.

Members of parliament previously requested the establishment of new vocational training units suitable for the labour market that would qualify young people to work in the major economic projects in their respective regions, such as the Marchica Med megaproject and the Western Mediterranean Port project.

Trisha said each city would have a vocational training centre to enhance trainees’ skills. She insisted that new technologies would have a central presence in developing new training programmes through e-learning and other tools.

Health-related training programmes have been implemented in regions where there is a university medical centre or where one is being created, including Laayoune, Agadir and Tangiers. The training centres are to help with human resources needs of the hospitals. In Fez-Meknes, Marrakech-Safi and Dara-Tafilalet, the plan is to offer vocational training programmes related to local handicraft industries.

Amazazi insisted that the measures would enable a new generation of training centres to develop real and effective models restructured within a comprehensive framework based on revising training to ensure sustainability.