Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Femise recommendations to reduce the skills mismatch in the Maghreb job market

Written by Nathalie Bureau du Colombier, MARSEILLE on Wednesday, March 11th 2020 à 15:16 | Read 523 times

If in France, the unemployment rate of non-graduates is four times higher than that of graduates, the proportions are reversed in the Maghreb countries. This paradoxical situation prompted Femise economists to analyze the determinants of the mismatch between education and the job market in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Among the main recommendations, Femise suggests the development of dashboards, the increasing use of continuing education and internships in firms ... Version française

Femise recommendations to reduce the skills mismatch in the Maghreb job market

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Graduates are the most affected by unemployment. © D.R
Graduates are the most affected by unemployment. © D.R
Tarek Bouazizi sets himself on fire. In December 2010, the suicide of this overqualified Tunisian who became a street vendor will subsequently trigger riots in Tunisia which will spread in the Arab countries.
This mismatch between education, skills and employability is one of the factors that could explain the Arab Spring. Ten years later, Femise analyzes this phenomenon in a report entitled " Education Mismatch in North Africa: determinants and impact".
Directed by Moundir Lassassi, the study highlights the importance of unemployment among young people, women and the educated. "Graduates are the most affected by unemployment," states report FEM44-13.
The public sector which employs the most qualified people does not recruit, leaving these over-graduates on the side of the road. If Tunisia finally becomes aware of this phenomenon with a decline in the number of graduates – which passed from 87,000 in 2009/2010 to 65,000 in 2016/2017, Algeria is experiencing exponential growth in the number of academics who has crossed the bar 300,000 in 2016/2017, three times more than in Morocco.

Women in Algeria are 4.3 times less likely to participate in the workforce

In addition, the three countries have faced an increase in unemployment since 2018, particularly among young people. They also suffer from a low participation of women in the labor market. In Algeria, they encounter great difficulties in integrating into working life. The rate painfully reaches 12.6%. It falls to 8.4% for young women aged 15 to 19. They are 4.3 times less likely to be employed than men. This rate is reduced in Morocco (3.2%) and Tunisia (2.9%).
Femise notes, however, the existence of a paradox, an "ambiguous effect", with the positive impact of unemployment on Algerian households living in urban areas. Inequality seems to be lower for young people living in cities than for those living in rural areas.

The 27-page document makes a number of recommendations to reduce the mismatch between training and employment. To prevent over-graduates from directly heading to unemployment, Femise recommends providing future students with access to a dashboard to assess the risk of overqualification. It also suggests offering the possibility of vocational training to the most disadvantaged workers in order to enable them to find better suited and paid employment. Finally, the report recommends the development of internships in the different curricula and the increased involvement of teaching professionals.
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