While Morocco is experiencing high youth unemployment, companies in many sectors in Germany are finding it increasingly difficult to find the right staff. In the hotel and catering industry, for example, a large number of jobs and training places remain unfilled.
A pilot project launched in 2016 aims to tackle the problem by offering Moroccan school-leavers a three-year dual apprenticeship to become chefs or hospitality professionals.
Morocco’s employment agency ANAPEC (Agence nationale de promotion de l’emploi et des compétences) commissioned the German development agency GIZ to advise young Moroccans on training and employment opportunities in Germany. The project is financed by the World Bank.
The GIZ supported ANAPEC in selecting 110 young participants from among a large number of applicants. The successful candidates were then placed with selected companies. They spent six months learning German in Morocco and received an intercultural briefing to prepare them for living and working in Germany.
Armed with these skills, they then began their training in Bavaria and Thuringia in August 2017, splitting their time between vocational schools and on-the-job training in their particular company. The GIZ liaised with the trainees during the first ten months of their three-year apprenticeship, to provide support and help them settle in. The results speak for themselves: 97 of the trainees continue to participate in the project, which is a high number given that the dropout rate for hospitality trainees is high in Germany.
After completing the apprenticeship, the trainees can either be taken on by their company or use their training in Germany as a springboard for a career in hospitality in Morocco. Tourism is very important sector of the Moroccan economy, and skilled workers are in demand. As Abdelhalim El Fatihi, Director of the Fes region at ANAPEC, notes, ‘This is a win-win situation for us.’