On 17 and 18 September 2018, the UNESCO Office in Rabat organized a regional workshop on digital skills in training programs in the Maghreb region, at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
The workshop was conducted within the framework of an EU-funded project implemented by UNESCO, Youth Employment in the Mediterranean (YEM), a three-year project launched in 2018, aimed at improving skills forecasting systems and promoting technical and vocational education and training (TVET) from 2018 to 2020.
The workshop focused on introducing digital skills into TVET programs in three Maghreb countries: Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, where employment and employability, especially of young people, are a shared priority. In a global context undergoing constant demographic and technological change in addition to increasing labour migration, the skill set demanded by labour markets increasingly includes digital skills, thus generating implications for education and training systems in terms of training of trainers, educational organization, and evaluation and certification. There is a broad consensus regarding the importance of digital skills for the employability of individuals, especially young people in this sub region of the Maghreb. Taking into account the similarity of the problems and the reforms undertaken, the workshop aimed at facilitating the exchange of experiences between the three countries to support the reforms carried out at the national level, with a perspective on the progress of initiatives carried out in other countries.
During the workshop, UNESCO presented and discussed together with national stakeholders the preliminary findings of a new comparative study to analyse the introduction of digital skills into vocational training programs in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Participants included national representatives responsible for TVET and heads of institutions involved in the introduction of digital skills as well as training centres for trainers from the three Maghreb countries. The European Training Foundation (ETF) and international actors presenting the Compass initiative (Expertise France), the European Reference Framework for digital skills (DigComp), the Technobel/FOREM approach in Belgium, the digital action plan for Quebec Education, the French PIX Platform, also participated in the workshop. The regional workshop closed with study visits to two pioneering institutions in terms of digital skills training for better employability, in Paris: 42 and Jules Siegfried technical college.
The fruitful discussions that took place during the workshop, with significant contributions from national participants from the Maghreb as well as the interventions of the international actors, highlighted the importance of digital skills in TVET programmes in order to improve the employability of young people in the current job market. The workshop enhanced knowledge on the current level of digital skills integration in vocational training programs in the three countries, allowed sharing of national experiences and initiated a network of various stakeholders within the sub region. In addition, the exercise helped progress in the search for new ways to match the training offer with the needs of individuals and the labour market, in order to further promote employment and sustainable development within the framework of the YEM project.
The YEM project is being implemented over a three-year period (2018-2020) in Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia, and aims to support youth employment and entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean region by improving skills anticipation and technical and vocational education and training systems.