Skills, Employment and Labor Mobility
Some of the European Unionís (EU) New Neighborhood Policies, such as integration into the European and world markets are bringing both challenges and opportunities for countries in the MENA region. The key challenges include moderate but fluctuating economic growth with low employment creation capacity. Job creation in the MENA region has not been sufficient to accommodate the growth in the labor force, including an increasing number of women and youth. Programs to address youth unemployment have also been unsatisfactory in most countries. This signals problems with the education and skill provision systems at a time when both are needed to achieve international competitiveness.
These gaps in education and skills are compounded by a lack of recognition of skills and degrees across the region and in migration destination countries. As a result, although plentiful, opportunities for the region remain under-exploited. In addition, social security systems (including pension, unemployment and health insurance) are rarely designed to support mobility and labor market flexibility while providing adequate income protection for workers. Thus, employability has risen to the forefront of the development agenda, especially as it concerns the young and calls for the creation of good, high productivity jobs.The main objective of the SELM cluster is to promote cooperation between European and MENA countries to stimulate job creation and economic growth to absorb the rapidly growing and more educated labor force in MENA countries; to support the mobility of the labor force; and develop dynamic labor markets with adequate income protection for workers. To effectively address such a complex issue, a multi-sectoral approach is needed, involving policies encompassing the education system, labor market institutions, as well as the social insurance system. This requires reform efforts that support skills development and exploiting opportunities in the labor markets at different stages of workersí life cycle, strong coordination among different Government partners, as well as close collaboration with the private sector and industry.
More about the programs:
- Skills development to promote the emergence of knowledge based economies
- Regional harmonization of standards, qualifications and quality assurance mechanisms in post basic education
- The International Labour Mobility (ILM) program
- Promoting income opportunities and active citizenship of young people
- Employment and Social Protection