Young people are learning to satisfy Morocco’s craving for flaky croissants, crusty loaves, and fancy cakes at the newest technical training center funded by MCC’s Morocco Employability and Land Compact.
The lack of trained workers in Morocco is one of the major factors constraining economic growth in the country. There is an extremely high level of youth unemployment, particularly among women. The World Bank reports that 29 percent of Morocco’s 15-to-24-year-olds, which constitute more than one third of the country’s population, are not in school, training, or employed. In addition, 7 out of 10 working-age women are not employed or seeking a job, making women’s economic participation in Morocco among the lowest in the world. According to a 2021 United Nations WIDER Policy Brief, in 2019 employment participation for women was just 22 percent compared to 71 percent for men. MCC-funded Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centers will provide students with training and skills that employers need, improve job placement rates, and raise incomes.
The Bakery and Pastry Training Institute (L’Institut de Formation aux Métiers de Boulangerie et de Patisserie (IFMBP) per its French name and acronym), is one of 15 TVET centers designed to give graduates relevant, in-demand skills that meet industry needs and ultimately spur private sector growth. Breads and pastries are an important part of Moroccan food culture, creating demand for skilled bakers and pastry chefs in hotel restaurants, cafés, and markets throughout the country. The IFMBP’s hands-on courses are taught by qualified chefs and industry professionals, and a state-of-the-art facility is under construction. Students can earn certifications in all areas of the baking trade and develop professional skills in everything from bakery management, catering, and sales, to making bread, ice cream, and confectionaries. The first full cohort of IFMBP students will begin in the fall of 2023.
This second-generation workforce development program is designed to improve job placement rates for graduates, using an innovative public-private training center model. Previous public-sector managed TVET centers helped train Morocco’s large youth population, but graduates didn’t gain the skills needed by employers. After a review of the outcomes and building from the delegated management, or gestion déléguée model, that existed in Morocco, MCC and the Moroccan government implemented a public-private model that allows the private sector to identify skillset needs, and help the centers develop curricula to meet those employer needs.
Morocco’s second-generation TVET centers were created, extended, or rehabilitated by MCA-Morocco with the $100 million Charaka Fund. Charaka means partnership in Arabic. MCC financed the Charaka Fund through its $460.5 million compact that supports Morocco’s employability and land reforms. The 15 TVET centers will offer 80 programs in collaboration with the private sector to develop relevant, high-quality certification training and curricula related to transportation, logistics, tourism, health, animal husbandry, business support services, airport, and aerodynamics careers.
The programs are housed in government–owned buildings and students receive scholarships through the state so they can attend tuition-free. TVET center boards are chaired by private sector members who will provide valuable input on training and certification standards to ensure that the programs are responsive to their human capital needs, as well as how centers can generate income to maintain and replace equipment. The new centers are demand-driven and designed to tailor curricula to industry needs and adapt to market trends.
There are indications that the new model is already improving training center outcomes and sustainability. For example, private sector partners have developed innovative income generating ideas to cover costs for the maintenance and upkeep. The IFMBP generates additional revenue by offering consulting services and continuing education courses to professionals and baking enthusiasts.
If it remained a state-run facility, those options would not have been considered. Other centers, such as the Higher International Institute of Tourism of Tangier (Institut Supérieur Internationale du Tourisme de Tanger per its French name) developed close partnerships with nearby hotels and restaurants that will create employment pipelines for future graduates. As the MCC Compact comes to a close in March 2023, the 15 TVET centers are well-placed to thrive and succeed for many years to come.
With more than 2,000,000 unskilled and unemployed youth in the country, MCC’s investment in the TVET sector in Morocco is a timely intervention. Providing career pathways and opportunities to these young men and women will allow Morocco to tap into its most valuable resource – the Moroccan people. These reinvigorated TVET centers will help grow Morocco’s economy and provide Morocco’s youth with a brighter future.