Tunisian Ayman Knani is optimistic about the future. The German-Tunisian Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration, which is jointly operated by the German development agency GIZ and the Tunisian employment agency ANETI, has found him a place on a training course for people looking to start their own business. Knani would soon like to become self-employed and run a company that treats drinking water.
Yet the future has not always looked so bright for Knani. In 2016, he could see no future for himself in his home country, where the youth unemployment rate, in particular, is very high. And so he travelled to Germany in the hope of finding employment. However, Knani’s application for a work permit was rejected, and after spending several months in an initial reception centre, he returned to Tunisia.
As in Tunisia, high unemployment is common in many countries throughout the world. Young people like Aymen Knani therefore often see no other option but to migrate. Opportunities do exist, but there is simply a lack of information on the jobs and training courses available locally. Migration advisory centres like those in Tunisia offer support by providing information about potential training and employment in the region and the requirements for finding work in Germany. The centres also support people living abroad who would like to return to their home country, and assist them in entering the local job market. Staff provide individual advice and can find suitable training opportunities for people locally.
On behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and in collaboration with national employment agencies, GIZ is currently operating eight centres – in Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, Tunisia, Morocco, Ghana, Senegal and Iraq. Further advisory services are planned in Nigeria and Afghanistan.
The centres, which were set up gradually from 2015 onwards, have been well received: a total of 38,000 people have been given advice and information so far, 2,000 of whom were returnees. Around 10,000 people have taken part in job application training, and a further 70,200 have been reached through job and career fairs and information events.
GIZ assists people who are seeking to return to their home country, and can also provide them with advisory services in Germany. Reintegration scouts support the work of governmental and non-governmental returnee advice centres by providing advisors with appropriate information on the opportunities available in a particular country. They liaise closely with the advisory centres abroad, giving potential returnees access to initial information on the options available in their home country while still in Germany.