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Towards regionalisation in Tunisia

Thematic Area: ; VET Governance; Employment and Employability
Year/Date: 17/11/2016


Regionalisation of vocational training governance is about empowering local people to tackle local needs - and it's an issue that is high on the agenda for ETF partner country Tunisia.

The journey will be a long and ‘progressive learning approach’, Vocational Training and Employment Minister Imed Hammami told participants at a workshop on VET and employment.

Moving from central to regional governance requires a structure; regional instances must be set up, which implies legal enforcement. Strong cooperation among various ministries and institutions concerned at central level is essential. As is dialogue among local actors, and between central and regional actors, he said, at the meeting of national and regional-level stakeholders in Tunis.

Various pilot projects have been carried out, tools developed and tested, including through the Governance for Employability in the Mediterranean (GEMM) project. The pilot project in Gabès, a coastal town 400 km south of the capital, helped improve the employability of job seekers, especially through better governance at the territorial level. The pilot is being expanded to the Mahdia and Kairouan regions.

See the updated film on the ETF YouTube Channel here (French) HERE. 

Youth unemployment is high in Tunisia, yet employers don’t find the specific skills they need. Vocational training – still widely considered a second choice in Tunisia – may offer a unique opportunity to fill the gap and increase young people’s skills and employability.

The ETF’s flagship programme to help partner countries reform VET systems - the Torino Process – is another tool to facilitate regionalisation.

Three regions - Gabès, Médenine and Sfax - have carried out their own self-assessment through the Torino Process.

Now is the time to capitalise: build on the lessons learnt, operationalise the tools developed. If all Tunisian actors agree that regionalisation is the pathway for reforming vocational training, now has come the time to take it.

IRADA, an EU-funded project due to start in 2017 in eight regions, will also build on the synergies among regional initiatives and facilitate the regionalisation process.

So what to do now? Participants seem to agree: start working with the limited means they have, start using some of the tools to make them operational and generalise their application.

Closing the workshop, Head of ETF Operations Anastasia Fetsi stressed once more that although changes are needed at institutional level, ‘little steps towards the final vision can be taken now’.

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