ISSN 2330-717X

Morocco Elaborating An Ambitious Vocational Training To Meet Challenges Of Development Equation – OpEd

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Morocco’s King Mohammed VI presided over a presentation session of the roadmap for the development of vocational training and the creation of ‘Cities of Professions and Skills’ in every region of the Kingdom, a statement by the Royal Office said.

This session completes the series of the previous meetings held, chaired by His Majesty the King, and which were dedicated to the upgrading of the vocational training sector, the source added.

Morocco has recently announced a shakeup of vocational education and training to ensure that more young people have real-life skills to match structural changes in the Moroccan economy.

To reach this ambitious goal King Mohammed VI presided over a series of meetings with members of the cabinet to brief him on the strategy to upgrade and review vocational training.

In those previous meetings the King stressed the need to focus on some related shortcomings and funding mechanisms and sources, reaffirming that the future promotion of the sector should take place under a complementary vision to reform the vocational training system by benefiting from successful international experiences in the field, notably the adoption of alternation between theoretical training and actual training inside businesses.

A City of Professions and Skills will be set-up in every region of the Kingdom, Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research, Said Amzazi, told the Moroccan Press Agency MAP.

These are multi-sectoral and multifunctional structures that will become a strategic lever for competitiveness and a major factor of the integration of the youth into working life, he pointed out, adding that these new cities will focus on training that is in line with the specificities and potential of each region.

A particular focus will be given to tomorrow’s jobs, including digital-offshoring, he explained at the Royal Palace in Rabat, adding that these spaces will host specific structures, such as simulation centers and technological halls, in order to recreate the appropriate professional environment.

Training related to digital-offshoring jobs will be provided in the twelve regions of the Kingdom, while those related to artificial intelligence will be offered in the regions of Rabat-Salé-Kenitra and Casablanca-Settat, the minister said.

In accordance with the Royal instructions, these new Cities will be able to host and develop all the programs aimed at young people working in the informal sector, in order to strengthen their skills, particularly in languages, so that they can join the formal sector, Amzazi said.

The Cities of Professions and Skills will open their doors in September 2021, he added.

Undoubtedly, Morocco has the potential to benefit from its young population. However, what is lacking nowadays is a coordinated strategy to give Moroccan youth employable skills. There is absolutely a major need for a more coordinated planning for the production of a skilled workforce required for economic growth.

Vocational training centers in Morocco offer non-formal trainings beyond the formal educational system under the Ministry of Education. As such, the qualification needs of disadvantaged persons can be fulfilled very flexibly. However what is missing is an institutional framework to organize, articulate, integrate, regulate and ensure the quality of training interventions and programs to suit demands and needs of potential employers.

Therefore, Morocco is in need to diversify and develop jobs and modernize pedagogical methods.

Today’s meeting is in line with the implementation of the priorities and measures set by the monarch, especially in the Speeches on the Throne Day and August 20. It mirrors the unwavering royal solicitude for the sector of vocational training as a strategic lever and a promising means to prepare youth for employment and professional integration.

In fact, in his speech dated August 20, the King drew attention anew to the issue of youth employment, in relation mainly to the issue of balance between training and employment.

The focus will be on the restructuring of vocational training sectors, the creation of a new generation of training centers for young people, the systematization of early guidance counseling to vocational sectors, the development of work-linked training, the learning of languages, as well as the promotion of youth entrepreneurship in their fields of competence.

 The new strategy will include the development of new trainings in promising sectors and businesses, while upgrading training in the so-called traditional jobs, which remain the main providers of jobs for young people such as the sectors of industry, services, construction, agriculture, fisheries, water, energy and handicraft.

 The new vocational training offer will adopt new standards of quality, notably in the hotel and tourism sector so as to boost and back up the vital growth of this strategic sector.  A special focus will be granted vocational training in the health sector, including paramedical professions and health technicians, particularly in maintenance and repair of medical equipment where there is a real potential for jobs.

Morocco is in need of a comprehensive approach in vocational training that will offer recipes for revamping the vocational system by making it demand-driven, and is inspired by international best practices for creation of skilled workforce on the basis of competence, rather than curricula-based training to face potential challenges for low‐skilled workers brought by skill‐biased technological changes and labour market conditions, which define the correlation between low‐skilled workers, employers and training opportunities.

The Moroccan government has developed a more comprehensive review of vocational training that should respond to concerns in the business community. Many young Moroccans are drifting into university education when a vocational education might be more convenient and useful. A comprehensive vocational education that will provide a skilled workforce to small businesses, national and international corporates.

The sector must be able to respond to future demands for higher skills, changing industry composition and structural change, especially in rural and urban regions and a skilled labor force working longer and in varied roles across their working lives.

In today’s knowledge driven and competitive global economy, Morocco should definitely elaborate a vocational training that will be a fundamental element in the development equation, because it will permit youth to unlock their potentials, expand their horizons and adapt to changes in the dynamic world we live in with a view to give them the opportunity to gain access to the formal sector and enhance their know-how and abilities.

Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant, who follows events in his country and across North Africa. He is a member of Washington Press Club.

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