APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
EFE will provide 13,000 youth across the Middle East and North Africa access to economic and leadership opportunities through training, job placements, entrepreneurship support, and alumni activities. Over 4,000 youth will start jobs and over 250 young entrepreneurs will receive access to business start-up support (50% young women for both targets). Additionally over 8,700 youth will receive job readiness training. To build local capacity and sustainability, over 20 youth centers and universities will be involved. Program alumni will have access to ongoing support in the form of mentoring, networks, online learning, community service and leadership activities, and international exchanges.
Distinctive in focusing on job outcomes, EFE listens to youth in the region and in the market. It provides youth with tools they need to build futures through employment, and with employers with a demand for skilled local talent. This commitment combines the complementary strengths of various partners on three tracks.
- Job readiness training track: Youth will receive ManpowerGroup's Finding a Job is a Job or Microsoft's digital literacy training.
- Jobs track: Young jobseekers will receive training that is in demand by the private sector, and job placements through EFE's distinctive methodology of employer involvement. Innovative SMS job matching technology and ManpowerGroup's online vocational profile assessment tools will assist with job matching.
- Entrepreneurship track: Aspiring young entrepreneurs will have access to ManpowerGroup's online entrepreneurship assessment tools, receive training such as Intel's entrepreneurship curriculum, have access to business start-up support such as Microsoft's BizSpark software, and receive mentoring support through, for example, The Aspen Institute's Partners for a New Beginning, or the North Africa Partnership (PNB-NAPEO) business networks.
The U.S. Department of State/MEPI will support growth in nearly all countries and enable EFE to expand to Tunisia. PNB-NAPEO will support expansion in North Africa. The MasterCard Foundation will support scale up in Morocco, as a case study for national expansion. ManpowerGroup will provide institutional capacity-building support to the EFE Network of non-profit affiliates across the MENA region.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
This is a three-year project with a timeline specific to each country, from 2011-2013.
In 2011, EFE will provide job training in Workplace Success (soft skills), business English, sales, and technical training for youth, and place graduates in jobs. In the West Bank, EFE will offer entrepreneurship training and access to business start-up support. Also, EFE will provide job readiness training and internships in Egypt, Morocco, and Palestine. In 2012 and 2013, these activities will continue and expand in size throughout the region.
High Youth Unemployment: Youth unemployment was a key factor sparking the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. According to the IMF, along with the world's largest youth population bulge, the MENA region also has the largest youth unemployment rate at 27%. Young people (aged 15-24) account for 40% of the unemployed in Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia, and nearly 60% in Egypt. Ironically, joblessness tends to increase with schooling, with unemployment rates often highest among college graduates. Young women continue to have low labor market participation rates despite increased access to university education. There is a serious mismatch between the skills young people possess and those that private sector employers seek. Youth unemployment costs the Arab world $40-$50 billion per year according to EFE's report, Realizing Arab Youth Potential.
Networks: Youth with limited opportunity need pathways to social and economic inclusion. Often, these youth lack role models, peer support, and mentors familiar with the business world. Yet Arab CEOs want to be engaged in closing the skills and mentoring gaps: 68% of those polled for the report Arab Human Capital Challenge: The Voice of CEOs expressed a desire to be involved as guest speakers in classrooms and 66% expressed an interest in mentoring.
Civic Engagement: Youth in the MENA region have emerged as agents of change who desire to contribute to their society and future. Yet there are not enough formal avenues and institutions through which the youth can expand their voices and actively participate in economic, political and social affairs. Youth need more opportunities to volunteer and engage in civil society in order to exert greater influence in positively shaping their societies.
SEEKING: Financial Resources, Implementing Partners, Best Practice Information, Media/Marketing Opportunities
EFE is seeking to engage with companies that are searching to recruit and hire human talent in the Middle East and North Africa, to partner with EFE on job placement programs. In addition, EFE would like to meet companies that can provide technical assistance and media support. EFE is interested in speaking with donors to scale up its job placement and entrepreneurship activities across the Middle East and North Africa.
While EFE has an infrastructure of local operating non-profits across the region with over 400 local corporate partners and numerous university partners and trainers, there is a major need to partner with multinational companies to employ young people and co-sponsor training. EFE is also seeking implementing partners to enhance its mentoring and civic engagement programs. To build organizational capacity, EFE seeks support in areas like financial management, systems, board development, and new curricula development. EFE needs to raise $6.25 million to realize this commitment. Additional media coverage would be very helpful.
OFFERING: Implementing Partners, Best Practice Information, Media/Marketing Opportunities, Other
EFE would act as an implementing partner to donors who would like to invest in youth employment, entrepreneurship and civic engagement in the MENA region. EFE can also provide companies looking to enhance their human resources and corporate engagement in the region with local talent and marketing visibility. The MasterCard Foundation and EFE will document and disseminate best practices from the programs to encourage investments to scale effective strategies and programs.