The 10 years of collaboration between the IECD and the Académie de Paris have contributed to the deployment of high-quality programs that have returned thousands of young Mediterraneans to a positive training and employment context. These results confirm that when there is a match between training and the labor market young people are able to find jobs.
In Morocco, the Training Center for Apprentices (CFA) in Mkanssa – a center co-created by the IECD and the L’Heure Joyeuse association in 2014 – has greatly increased the placement rate of young people following an apprenticeship contract to reach 80% in 2018 thanks to the improvement of training content and the strengthening of relations between schools and companies.
Leila Benhima Chérif, President of L’Heure Joyeuse association, recalls that the CFA welcomes young people in great difficulty, some of whom had not completed junior school at the start of their training. “We target marginalized young people who have dropped out of the school system, who live in underprivileged neighborhoods, and who have lost all confidence in themselves. To help them escape this vicious circle, we encourage them to work on their motivations, on their life plan. Progress is measured, for example, by means of assiduity: we now have a very low abandonment rate, about 1% to 2%, something which really makes us admire these young “drop-outs”.”
Vocational training is greatly supported by companies, provided that it meets their needs. To achieve the standard of quality required, Salam Younes, General Director of Technical and Vocational Education of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Lebanon, recalls the benefits of international cooperation, “as much in terms of facilities and buildings (“hard” aspects) as the redesign of vocational and technical training programs (“soft” aspects)”.
It has to be said that, today, vocational training is still seen as a default option. This is the case in all Mediterranean countries:
“We have about 1 doctor for 3 patients, but just 1 nurse for 20 patients!”, explains Nayla Ibrahim, Director of the Semeurs d’Avenir association in Beirut. “This really reflects the mentality: all parents want their children to be engineers, doctors, or lawyers. Vocational training is not recognized in Lebanon despite the needs being there.”
In Egypt, Mr. Hassan Behnam, Director General of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, talks of the “strong State employee culture”, which continues to be omnipresent. Companies are more selective and are looking for qualified and trained young people so as to save on their production time. “
In order for technical professions to be viewed in a positive light once again, it is essential for the training provided to be of good qualify. Thus, thanks to the cooperation between the IECD, the Lebanese ministry, the Semeurs d’Avenir association, the technical training centers and the Académie de Paris, an electronics baccalaureate was created in Lebanon and has become a sector of excellence officially recognized by the State. The IECD has since been entrusted with the creation of two new vocational baccalaureates in buoyant sectors.