Tunisia’s youth, which accounts for over half of the population, is the most affected by unemployment. At the same time, companies have difficulty finding the skills they need. In this context, the Tunisian authorities and their social partners have made youth training and employment a core national priority. A new vocational training strategy was adopted in the course of 2013. It involves far-reaching changes in the practices of both public and private actors.
An action program (PAFIP) has been defined with AFD for the operational implementation of this strategy. The first stage concerns four employment areas and industry activities. The aim of this PAFIP program is to improve the efficiency of the vocational training system by strengthening support to its actors. Its objective is also to promote the opening up of centers to their economic environment in order to better match the needs of the labor market.
The PAFIP project focuses on four employment areas in the North and East of the country and on the “industry” sector. It aims to bring about a qualitative leap in the system at all levels. It is based on both an enhanced strategic management by the ministry and a strong territorial establishment of the reform:
- Support for the running of 17 training centers for 15 professional activities in the industry sector, in eight governorates, with the aim of making the system more responsive to business needs and of allowing these centers to play a leading role in the socioeconomic development of territories. This support includes upgrading the facilities of centers and, in certain cases, expanding or creation training areas. Specific assistance will be provided for the creation of an “agribusiness” center in the Bizerte competitiveness cluster;
- Assist the National Teacher Training and Training Engineering Center (Cenaffif) in overhauling training; Build the management and coordination capacities of the structures of the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment; Support the structuring of a “training” mission at the industry employers’ organization UTICA and trade union UGTT in order to enhance the social dialogue on vocational training between the State and social partners.
The number of students in the centers targeted by the program is currently estimated at 14,200. The overhaul of the training system with social partners and the development of diversified courses (apprenticeships/sandwich courses, ongoing training) will make it possible to better meet business needs, increase the competitiveness of the sector, and promote a sustainable socio-professional integration of young people.
The capacity building for the various actors, both at central and local level, should facilitate the implementation of the reform and the sustainable structuring of a tripartite partnership.
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