Youth unemployment is a perennial challenge across North Africa, including in Algeria, where rates typically approach 30%. Since its launch in September 2015, the MEPI-funded Youth Employment Project has established nine career centers across Algeria, helping young job-seekers to gain new skills tailored to local market demand. From Algeria’s largest ports to smaller trading hubs to oil fields deep in the Sahara Desert, the career centers are boosting young people’s employment prospects via a flexible blend of one-on-one career counseling, soft skills training, vocational training, career fairs, and direct job placement.
Implemented by World Learning, the project has trained nearly 6,000 young job-seekers in its first 2.5 years. These include over 1,700 who completed vocational courses selected through a rigorous local labor market assessment process with substantial input from local employers. After that process revealed priority fields in each locale, today young job-seekers can train in truck driving, accounting, plumbing, pharmaceutical sales, and much more. Initial results suggest that that project is making a significant difference for young job-seekers. A March 2018 survey of project alumni indicated that over 2,100 graduates have already obtained work (including over 270 through direct placement), with many more launching their search each week.