- In 2018, an average of one in four young North Africans is not in employment, education or training (NEETs)
- At the same time, in the Euro-Mediterranean region, hundreds of thousands of job positions are not filled due to a lack of suitable profiles. The skills gap is one of the main obstacles to the recruitment of young people.
- At a regional level, the Mediterranean New Chance Network mobilises and strengthens cooperation between stakeholders in the socio-professional integration of young people in eight Euro-Mediterranean countries, including the Second Chance Schools, and benefits more than 26,000 young people.
Marseille, 29 novembre 2018 (IECD / UpM) – The Mediterranean region is facing unprecedented challenges that can only be addressed by intensifying regional cooperation between the relevant stakeholders.
Youth unemployment rates in the region are among the highest in the world, with rates of 35.8% in Tunisia, 34.4% in Egypt, 34% in Spain, 32% in Italy, 23.9% in Algeria and 20% in France in 2017. It is particularly urgent to implement solutions that enable young people without employment, education or training (NEETs) to find a place in the labour market and society.
With this in mind, the Institut européen de coopération et de développement (IECD), in partnership with the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, organised the annual conference of the Mediterranean New Chance Network (MedNC) entitled “What are the solutions for the social and professional integration of young NEETs in the Mediterranean?” from 26 to 28 November 2018 in Marseille.
Provide concrete solutions
After two days of peer-to-peer training among professionals in the sector and the discovery of eight innovative socio-professional integration centres based in Marseille, the members of the MedNC Network proposed a third day open to stakeholders to present their best practices in the field, mapped in a guide, as well as the prospects for replication.
The conference, which brought together more than 70 people, including ministerial representatives, local authorities, experts and corporate foundations such as Fondation Nexans, Fondation Total and Fondaher, was closed by the institutional partners of the MedNC network – the Agence française de développement (AFD), the Fondation Drosos and the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean – who all reiterated their support for the MedNC network.
The MedNC network: multi-stakeholder cooperation to promote the employability of young NEETs in the Mediterranean
The Mediterranean New Chance Network (MedNC) is of strategic importance for the integration and stability of the region. Endorsed by the 43 Member States of the Union for the Mediterranean as part of the Mediterranean Employment Initiative (Med4Jobs), it was launched to address the challenges of early school leaving and youth unemployment of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs). The MedNC network brings together ten members from eight Euro-Mediterranean countries (Algeria, France, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia) with the aim of integrating at least two additional countries by 2019.
The MedNC Network’s objective is to bring together and increase cooperation among stakeholders involved in the socio-professional integration of young people, to strengthen their skills through exchanges of good practices, and to accelerate their growth in the Euro-Mediterranean countries.
Coordinated at the regional level by the IECD, and co-financed by the AFD, the Fondation Drosos Foundation and the European Union through the Erasmus+ programme, the network does not promote a single model, but a diversity of models adapted to the contexts of participating countries, which share common points:
- They have the same objective of improving the socio-professional integration of young people
- They implement similar means by providing young people with i) a reinforcement of soft skills, ii) personalised support on social and civic matters, social skills and career guidance issues, and iii) internship experiences within companies.
- They have a common methodology: they adapt to local contexts, aim to establish strong links with institutional stakeholders, companies and civil society organisations.
- Finally, they are highly interested in cooperating at the regional level by making their expertise and experience available to their peers.
“Before joining MedNC, I lacked a practical side to my training. I had no self-confidence, I was afraid of entrepreneurship and I thought I would never succeed. I’ve learned a lot in the last few weeks. I will leave more enriched and better trained to enter the labour market,” said Salma Mustapha, beneficiary of the project in Tunisia.
“The MedNC network is fully in line with one of the main priorities of the Union for the Mediterranean: the professional integration of young people, as a driving force for stability, integration and socio-economic development in the region,” said Itaf Ben Abdallah, Senior Advisor for Higher Education and Research at the Union for the Mediterranean.
“The MedNC network is a formidable breeding ground for experimentation and innovation. By sharing and spreading these good practices at local and national level, we can help more young people in difficulty,” said Astrid Desjobert, MedNC Network Manager.