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Moving Forward in Vocational Education and Training Reform

Since 2000 we have been supporting Morocco in developing 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.

ETF is working together with country stakeholders to reform the vocational education and training services offered in Morocco. Involving the business sector is one of the central axes of the reform, along with including all actors at regional and national level in more efficient multi-level governance. Other key objectives are equipping people with the relevant skills to enter the labour market, become active citizens and contribute to growth and competitiveness. We also cooperate with government authorities and social partners in setting up a National Qualifications Framework.

Political context and priorities

Morocco has a positive economic outlook and a commitment to reform and advancing regionalisation. Following the elections in October 2016 the government is focusing on key areas related to governance, education and the labour market and to strengthening competitiveness and inclusive growth, keeping current reforms on track and increasing their pace. The Government Plan for Development, the strategy for reform of vocational education and training and the National Plan for Employment Promotion are all addressing priorities linked to unemployment and skills relevance, quality and shortages.

Socio-economic situation

The economic performance of Morocco is based on solid fundamentals. Growth in Gross Domestic Product has remained fairly stable over the years (3.4% in 2015 and 3.5% in 2016) with the service sector as the main contributor. This GDP is still low per capita however, not withstanding government policies, when compared to other upper middle-income emerging countries economic growth has not translated into decent job creation. Activity rates are low and gender disparity in employment rates is substantial (70.8% men, 23.6% women). The aggregated unemployment rate is stable around 10%, however youth unemployment is high at 22.5%.

Education and labour policies

Education and training are key priorities for Morocco. Since 2011 the dialogue on human capital development has been revamped. An Education Vision for 2030, approved in 2014, promotes greater equality and enhanced quality of individual participation in society. The strategy on Vocational Education and Training for 2021 brings together all partners around a shared and modern vision of skills development, centred on employability, more efficient governance and use of resources. The Employment Strategy 2025 not only focuses on active labour market measures but on more comprehensive support, including skills development, updating and upgrading.

EU support and the ETF

Morocco is the largest recipient of European Union (EU) funds in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Priorities include, among others, promotion of employment, sustainable development and growth. A large sector reform contract in the Vocational Education and Training sector has been in place since the end of 2016 in support of the implementation of this ongoing reform. The ETF works in close cooperation with the EU Delegation in Morocco in the areas of skills development and skills for employability.

ETF is active in the fields of vocational education and training governance, qualifications and VET system analysis, providing support in the following specific areas:

  • Supporting the design and set up of governance bodies at national, regional and sectoral level, reflecting on and sharing experiences from other countries in the region and in the EU
  • Setting up of a National Qualifications Framework for vocational education and training, anchored within the education system
  • Preparing Morocco’s VET system analysis for the next round of the Torino Process (2019-2020)
  • Analysing Human Capital Development actions to promote entrepreneurial learning and women’s entrepreneurship for the Small Business Act assessment process (2018)