Interview with Islem Ben Ali, beneficiary of the UfM-labelled project New Chance Mediterranean Network (MedNC).
The MedNC project aims to promote a regional network of accredited orientation, training and professional integration centres to establish a shared and innovative teaching model in order to boost the employability of young people who have dropped out of school before obtaining a degree and unemployed graduates. The network relies on national coordinators who support local centres, in partnership with government bodies, the private sector and civil society.
The New Chance Mediterranean project is part of the UfM’s cross-sector initiative, Mediterranean Initiative for Jobs (Med4Jobs) and is part of the strategic goal of fostering employability for young people and inclusive growth in the region.
How did you find out about the “New Chance Mediterranean Network” (MedNC)?
I found out about the New Chance Mediterranean Network through the Tunisian New Chance Association, which is part of the network. Tunisia’s New Chance Association established a refresher sandwich course programme through a partnership with the educational institution I studied at. So, I became aware of the programme via my institution’s website and by email. Thanks to the New Chance programme, I’ve been able to improve my skills and abilities in languages, IT, communication, personal development and also entrepreneurial skills. The sandwich course programme lasted five months with training and an internship, and each learner benefited from personal tutoring and monitoring.
How did the project help you to improve your professional skills?
The programme enabled me to enhance my CV and improve my interpersonal skills, self-confidence and certain technical skills.
What are the main challenges faced by young people in the Euro-Mediterranean region?
Due to this programme, I’ve been able to enroll on a Master’s degree in Environmental Security and Quality, a course with very selective and competitive entrance requirements. So, there were 16 of us students from management roles and IT specialists, three were able to join the Master’s course and nine were employed. There has been a great synergy and dynamic among the group, enabling a really fruitful exchange of knowledge and experience. We’ve built a network between us that we find is really useful.