Tunisia: Loan Agreement Worth €27.7 Million to Promote Vocational Training Centres Signed

Tunis/Tunisia — A loan agreement worth € 24 million (80 million dinars) granted by the French Development Agency (AFD) to the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment was signed on Tuesday morning at the Ministry's headquarters, along with a donation worth €700 thousand (2.5 MD) for social partners and a €3 million donation from the European Commission to the Employment Department to promote vocational training centres.

It is part of the programme to support training and professional integration under the national strategy for the reform of the national vocational training system and directly targets 17 vocational training centres and more than 60 centers indirectly, involving 25 specialists in 4 employment zones spread over 9 governorates.

The agreement, valued at €27.7 million (93 MD) was signed by Minister of Vocational Training and Employment Saida Ounissi, Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Noureddine Taboubi, Secretary- General of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) Samir Majoul, the representative of the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT) and the representative of the Union of Metal Industries and Professions (UIMM), in the presence of French ambassador in Tunis Olivier Poivre D'arvor.

Speaking to TAP, Ounissi said "the agreement is part of the implementation of a participatory approach between her department, the UGTT and UTICA in order to promote vocational training centres."

She pointed out that the €700 thousand donation granted by the French Development Agency, in equal parts, for the benefit of the UGTT and the UTICA, aims to allow the two organisations to develop a an action plan aimed at establishing institutions within both organisations, and organising training and study sessions to promote the vocational training sector and identify the job market needs.

The minister also said the government has recently published implementing decrees to establish partnership councils in vocational training structures in order to concretise the participatory approach adopted by the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment with the social partners.

For his part, Tabboubi told TAP that this agreement will allow the UGTT, the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment and UTICA to work together to take stock of vocational training and overcome the problems of school dropout and difficulties of access to the job market and introduce new specialties in line with the current economic changes.

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