Since 2002 we have been supporting Algeria to develop education and training to boost employability, increase access to opportunity and promote social cohesion. Complementing the work of the EU’s External Action Service, we bring together ministries and social partners to develop scalable projects.
A focus area of the ETF in Algeria is supporting the government’s efforts to increase employment by training people in skills which are relevant to the labour market, and to involve the business sector in these interventions.To help coordinate efforts and cooperation we have worked with the Ministry of Labour on setting up a labour market analysis at local level. The result is an action plan for labour market analysis and a programme for institutional and individual capacity building. We are also providing guidance to the Ministry of Vocational and Educational Training in 2018 on participation to the Torino process 2019-2020.
Political context and priorities
Algeria faces challenges in both the public and private sector. Increased business sector involvement in education and promoting economic diversification are key priorities in fighting unemployment. However, reforms have had limited reach as a sharp drop in oil prices has had an impact on state budgets and cuts in public administration and social spending which have affected progress. According to an IMF assessment, reforms of the public sector and attempts at privatisation have so far been unsuccessful. Nevertheless, if the reforms are sustained in time and introduced progressively, they have positive prospects.
Algeria's economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country's socialist post-independence development model. Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 30% of GDP, 60% of budget revenues, and nearly 95% of export earnings. Long-term economic challenges include diversifying the economy away from its reliance on hydrocarbon exports, bolstering the private sector, attracting foreign investment, and providing adequate jobs for younger Algerians. The proportion of young people not in employment, education or training is growing, currently at 27.6%.
Despite some improvements, labour market participation remains low (41.8% in 2016) with important gender, age and geographical differences. With a fairly stable overall unemployment rate (10.5% in 2016), women and youth (15-24) remain particularly affected by unemployment.
Education and labour policies
One of the main goals of the government is raising the quality and relevance of education and training for which action plans are in place for both sectors. In general, dropout rates from education are still fairly high and substantial reforms are still needed to strengthen vocational training. There is an absence of recent information and data on vocational training which makes measuring progress difficult. However, regarding employment, the National Employment Policy (2011-2014) has been relaunched as part of the new government action plan and an in-depth restructuring of the public employment services has been initiated by the government with the support of the EU and the international community.
EU support and the ETF
A key priority for Algerian-EU cooperation is skills development and boosting employability. The role of the EU is to support the public employment services and all ministries concerned in promoting employment, particularly for young people. On-going partnership projects between the EU delegation to Algeria and the Algerian government include the Programme d’Appui Jeunesse Emploi (PAJE) and the Programme d’Appui A L’Adéquation Formation-Emploi-Qualification (AFEQ).
As an Agency of the EU, we are providing support to this agenda:
- Giving technical advice on on-going and future interventions.
- Monitoring and sustaining the AFEQ and PAJE programmes
- Supporting the Ministry of Employment, Labour and Social Security and the National Employment Agency (ANEM) in setting up labour market analysis at local level
- Disseminating the results of the Small Business Act (SBA) Assessment carried out in 2017
- Involving key national stakeholders in the work of the ETF