Rabat — Morocco is looking to develop new industries to tackle youth unemployment.
As part of an effort to create 220,000 direct jobs by 2015, special attention is being paid to training Moroccans in the new global professions, according to Larbi Bencheikh, the director-general of the Office for Vocational Training and the Promotion of Employment (OFPPT).
He specifically pointed to public works and civil engineering, tourism, ICT, transport and logistics as areas for growth.
The government has geared its strategies accordingly. King Mohammed VI on Monday (September 30th) officially opened an industrial aeronautical complex that should create 12,000 direct jobs. To cater to the needs of the labour market, the Institute of Aeronautical Professions, which opened its doors in 2011, will soon be expanded.
Another training facility, the Institute Specialising in Aeronautical and Airport Logistics Professions (ISMALA), opened last month.
Direct aid for training will be given for three years in the amount of up to €5,500 per person, Industry Minister Abdelkader Amara said. The successful development of industrial activities requires the availability of skilled and sometimes highly specialised human resources, as is the case in the aeronautical sector, the minister said.
When choosing what to study, young people must now take account of the current and future needs of the labour market, sociologist Hanane Bidaoui said. In her view, universities must look outwards to their environment so that they will not continue to be regarded as factories that generate unemployed people.
Two trends may be observed among young people. There are the thousands of unemployed graduates who assumed they would be recruited into the public sector, who refuse to attend any new training courses that cater to the needs of the market. They have even stepped up their protests outside parliament.
On the other hand, there are those young people who decided to stop sitting around and enrol in training courses.
Hamza Cherif is among those who expected public sector employment. With a degree in Arabic literature, he said it was the state's duty to give him a job that relates to the subject of his degree.
He has been jobless for over 15 years and lives with his parents.
Fatima Ezzahra T, sees things differently. As a private law graduate, she has been seeking a job in vain for three years. This year, she decided to boost her language skills and attend another training course in IT development so that she could find a job with an offshoring company.
"I can't wait for a job that may never come along. Although I got a good degree classification, my degree hasn't helped me get a job. That's why I've decided to follow a new path. And I feel confident about the future," she said with optimism.
That view was shared by Farid Serrat, a graduate in French literature. Last year he decided to attend a technical vocational course in mechanics.
"There's no harm in reconsidering your training so that you can land a job," he said.
His brother Charaf, who is studying towards his baccalaureate, is hoping to get into the Casablanca Institute of Aeronautics.
"If I study there, work is guaranteed," he told Magharebia.