Morocco records employment success but youth remain skeptic

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The Moroccan government this week announced a decline in unemployment rates from 13.9% in 1999 to 9.8% in 2007 and 9.6% during the first quarter of 2008. A provisional rate for the second quarter of the current year is set at 9.2%.

The figures were presented at a press conference held Monday, June 23, by the Minister of Employment and Vocational Training. Breaking down the numbers, he said that unemployment in urban areas decreased by 6.6% in the same period, from 22% to 15.4% and 5.4% to 3.8% in rural areas.

More than 150 000 families have benefited so far from the creation of new jobs, between 1999 and 2007, as the reduction of unemployment becomes a key priority among government policies determined to lower the numbers even further.

Throwing more light on the success of the employment sector, the Minister explained that the set up of an efficient strategy affecting all sectors of activities backed by an appropriate system of professional training has led to thousands of jobs.

The government also aims to promote vocational training with the strengthening of the sector’s capacity to 168 000 trainees by 2012 as well the development of targeted trade training for a number of 110 000 young people. The involvement of the private sector will also help train 220 000 people.

Meanwhile, this triumphalist speech has failed to find an echo among the country’s youth who complain of lack of employment opportunities despite their qualifications.

Young people from rural areas are skeptic about the qualitative momentum registered by the government’s policy on employment and its reported economic success.

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