The World Bank has approved a $55 million loan to Morocco to enable the country develop youth employability programs in the Marrakesh-Safi region within the frame of a new project destined to provide economic support to youths.
This project will combine training for lower skilled youth, support potential entrepreneurs and investments in local businesses in promising value chains.
“Youth unemployment remains an acute challenge for Morocco, and we are drawing on our global experience in supporting governments in their efforts to address it through innovative solutions,” said Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly, Maghreb Country Director.
“This project will focus on developing the skills of young people seeking jobs, while increasing their economic opportunities by enhancing the conditions for promising businesses to grow”, she added.
“The project is designed to address the specific conditions in the Marrakech-Safi region, but the intention is to build on this first experience to replicate an integrated and efficient model across the entire country”, explained the WB official.
The project will target a set of beneficiaries including young men and women who are neither employed nor in training as well as aspiring young entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises operating in value chains with high potential for growth.
The project will set-up “one-stop-centers” which will provide career guidance as well as on-the-job training in the seven provinces of the Region and in the Marrakech prefecture.
Managed under the supervision of Morocco’s employment agency (ANAPEC), these centers will establish greater synergies between existing national programs, the private sector and the relevant public authorities to identify the needs of the local private sector and equip young people with the relevant skills and information to access and maximize these opportunities.
To boost job creation in the Marrakech-Safi region, the project will also foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem and support entrepreneurship opportunities for youth in high potential value chains.
By strengthening synergies between public and private stakeholders through the Regional Center for Investments (CRI), the project will help aspiring entrepreneurs develop their capacity to build effective business models in sectors with high growth potential.
Building on existing programs such as the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), the purpose of the this undertaking is not only to provide young entrepreneurs with advisory services but also to support them financially through small grants.
The project is aligned with the Moroccan Government’s employability programs, including the National Employment Strategy, the National Professional Training Strategy as well as the Youth inclusion pillar of the third phase of the INDH.
It is built on a participatory approach with dedicated feedback mechanisms for project beneficiaries, to regularly improve the quality of service delivery. Gender inclusion is a major component of the project, which aims to lift barriers faced by young women in accessing career guidance and job-matching programs and skills development services.