Development and peace go hand in hand: UfM & Germany launch new project to promote youth employment in the region
Amman, 20 July 2016. The UfM labelled project “YouMatch – Toolbox Project” has been officially launched in Amman today at the occasion of the Regional Dialogue on Employment Services for Youth (MENA), co-organized by the Secretariat of the UfM and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany’s Agency for International Development, promoter of the project.
Youth unemployment rates in the Mediterranean region are among the highest in the world: 25% on average, which is double the worldwide average. This crucial issue affects countries on both the southern and the northern shores of the Mediterranean.
The YouMatch initiative serves policy makers, private sector representatives and civil society to initiate an ongoing dialogue on innovative solutions to address the challenge of providing our youth with sustainable employment opportunities. The initiative is centered on the link between labour demand and supply with the key idea to improve employment services for youth and it aims at promoting regional peer learning and knowledge-sharing in the field of youth employment.
A first Preparatory Workshop & Practitioners’ Dialogue took place in Milan, Italy in October 2015. Representatives from labour ministries, business associations, civil society and youth organizations as well as bilateral employment promotion programmes from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia came together and laid the ground for this new initiative in the region.
Following the inputs and joint reflections in Milan, a comprehensive working approach for the MENA region, the so-called Toolbox Project, has been developed by GIZ in cooperation with UfM Secretariat, under the job intermediation pillar of the Med4Jobs initiative.
The Toolbox Project focusses on selected employment services for youth as pilot examples, taken from the service clusters of job orientation, job preparation or placement services. Based on good practices / case studies of existing approaches within the MENA region, peer working groups together with a facilitators’ team will analyze substantial challenges and success factors for the implementation of the identified tools, engage in the further development and elaboration of innovative labour market solutions and ultimately implement innovation and transfer projects in partner countries. Thus, practitioners will be strengthened in their capacities to render effective employment services to the benefit of young job seekers and employers looking for qualified staff.
In this framework, the Regional Dialogue on Employment Services for Youth (MENA) took place in Amman on the 18-20 July 2016 with the objectives to:
- Reinforce the YouMatch knowledge sharing and peer learning idea and deepen the professional networking among the stakeholders from the participating MENA countries,
- Learn about employment promotion strategies and service offers for young jobseekers in Jordan and share own good practices,
- Gain stakeholders’ and practitioners’ commitment to connect on the YouMatch platform and to actively engage in working groups related to the Toolbox Project,
- Agree on milestones, formats and a work plan for regional peer working groups on selected employment services and/or jointly defined challenges
Experienced employment services practitioners and change agents from the public and private sector, from civil society organizations and employment promotion programmes of the involved countries attended the meeting in Amman where the “YouMatch – Toolbox Project” was officially launched.
This initiative will be presented at the upcoming UfM Ministerial on Labour and Employment, which will be held in Jordan, on 27 September 2016.
About the Med4Jobs Initiative
Med4Jobs is a UfM project-based, cross-sector initiative aimed at promoting and replicating effective and visible job creation projects, increasing the employability of young people and women, helping to bridge the gap between labour demand and supply and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and private sector development. Med4Jobs also serves as a regional platform for dialogue on employment, for sharing best practices and for promoting stakeholder interaction and collaboration.
At present, Med4Jobs has identified up to 12 projects on the southern and northern shores of the Mediterranean, targeting more than 100,000 young beneficiaries and supporting the development of more than 800 SMEs from the region. Globally, these projects account for more than €130 million in investment in the region (this figure includes the construction of the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fes – See PHOTO GALLERY of the construction site).
Med4Jobs: a regional response to the common challenge of youth unemployment
Youth unemployment rates in the Mediterranean region are among the highest in the world with, on average, 25% unemployment, which is double the global average. This crucial issue affects countries on both the southern and the northern shores of the Mediterranean. In fact, the European average is 23%, but a higher rate can be seen in southern European countries, with over 50% in Greece and Spain, over 40% in Croatia and Italy and over 30% in Portugal.
Currently, almost 60% of the population in the Mediterranean region is under the age of 30. This represents an asset for the region; therefore, a positive and action-oriented regional agenda on youth employability is vital for unleashing the region’s human and economic potential capital and to contribute to stability and integration in the region.
UfM-labelled projects under Med4Jobs
Presently, 12 projects have already been labelled by the UfM within the framework of Med4Jobs. In addition to the political support of the 43 UfM Member States, the labelling facilitates access to funding and technical support. Further information on the 12 Med4Jobs projects can be found via the following links:
- Generation Entrepreneur
- Maharat Med – Developing Youth Employability & Entrepreneurial Skills
- MedNC – New Chance Mediterranean Network
- HOMERe – High Opportunity for Mediterranean Executive Recruitment
- Mediterranean Entrepreneurship Network
- Young Women as Job Creators
- The Euro-Mediterranean University of Fes
- Skills for Success – Employability Skills for Women
- Promoting women empowerment for inclusive and sustainable industrial development in the MENA region
- CEED GROW: Growing and Scaling Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
- YouMatch – Toolbox Project
- Establishment of a regional platform for the Development of Cultural and Creative Industries and Clusters in the Southern Mediterranean
About Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH provides services worldwide in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and has over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is the main commissioning party, but GIZ also works closely with the European Union institutions, the United Nations and governments of other countries, as well as the private sector.