Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean – Priority to youth employment

Written by Christelle Marot (PARIS) on Thursday, December 3rd 2015 à 15:46 | Read 1826 times

The Union for the Mediterranean-certified HOMERe scheme provides a region-wide answer to the challenge of young graduate employment. It's a programme supported both by academic institutions and private-sector economic stakeholders.

Young Moroccan students. World Bank
Young Moroccan students. World Bank
Paradoxically, in the Southern Mediterranean, university graduates are among those hardest-hit by youth unemployment. It's a situation that breeds tension in a context of economic slowdown. To overcome the challenge of employability and mobility among young graduates, the High Opportunity for Mediterranean Executives Recruitment (HOMERe) programme, certified by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), was launched in March, 2015.

"Youth employment is an issue both on the south and the north shores of the Mediterranean. And to address it, we need regional responses. The HOMERe programme offers internships to develop the cross-sector skills that employers are seeking. Recruitment starts by focussing on the employers' needs," points out Emmanuelle Gardan, programme manager at the UfM's research and higher education division.

The HOMERe initiative is being supported by the Réseau Méditerranéen des Ecoles d’Ingénieurs et de Management (RMEI) and by the French Foreign Trade Advisors, leaders of a regional consortium that brings together academic institutions and economic stakeholders.

HOMERe helps young people to gain a foothold in the business world through long-term overseas internships. The companies make their recruitment needs known and the youngsters are then selected by the RMEI network and given mobility assistance (help obtaining visas, additional training where necessary, tutoring…). For example, a young Moroccan can receive training in Spain and then be hired in Morocco, while a young French person can receive training in Italy.

Thus, before joining SOMEI (Marseille Water Company Group) in Rabat, IT engineer Sara El Khal completed a six-month internship at the company's head office in Marseille. This immersion into the professional world not only allowed her to understand how the projects implemented in France and in Morocco were linked but also developed a relationship of trust with her future colleagues.

"This Euro-Mediterranean programme is a tremendous tool for human resources. It allows the company to save money and enhance efficiency. The young people are operational as soon as they sign their contracts, they know their way around the company already," says Alain Meyssonnier, chairman of the French Foreign Trade Advisors' Provence-Corse committee.

In fact, Business France would like to see HOMERe expanded in Algeria to compensate for the loss of the VIEs (international business experience programme). "Today, we have more than a hundred Algerian companies on the waiting list. HOMERe is a two-way street. We are prepared to train young Algerian graduates in France before they return to their home country," declares Alain Meyssonnier.

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