The largest Arab country, Egypt has a population of 85 million people, half of whom are under 24, and the third largest economy in the Arab world. Although Egypt’s labour force amounts to 29.6 million, the unemployment rate in mid-2016 reached 12.5%, with the highest rates witnessed amongst women and young people. It would appear that a mismatch between the outputs of the education system and the needs of the labour market are contributing to both these high levels of unemployment as well as labour market inefficiencies.
Recent political upheaval has provided both opportunities and challenges for Egypt’s democratic, economic and social progress. While the revolution was characterised by a degree of uncertainty and instability, the new government has nevertheless implemented a number of economic and social reforms, including the introduction of policy changes within the education and employment sectors. However, while these reforms have emphasised social equality and youth empowerment, tackling high levels of youth unemployment remains an urgent priority and, indeed, features prominently in the prevailing political agenda. For example, the Egyptian government organised a successful and high profile international economic development conference in March 2015, an event which attracted a large number of domestic and foreign investors. During the conference, plans for a number of projects were unveiled, many of which are intended to lead to new job prospects in a range of sectors, including tourism, construction, logistics, energy, manufacturing and retail, within the next 15 years. Moreover, these projects have been accompanied by a new, more favourable investment law. If these projects materialise, they should lead to a sharpened focus nation-wide on education and training, and vocational education in particular, in order to prepare young people for these opportunities.
As part of British Council Egypt’s on-going commitment to skills development across the country, three international skills partnership are available for funding. There are three distinct opportunities in Egypt, with consortia applications welcome across the following areas:
- The first opportunity will focus on the development of curriculum and quality assurance processes for a large, leading technical training institution
- The second partnership will entail supporting our government partner to work with colleges to prepare young people to compete in WorldSkills 2017
- The third partnership will support the piloting of apprenticeship models for young learners (aged 16 – 21) who are making the transition from learning to work. This will require examining, from a provider’s perspective, the pertinent policy and practice issues.
Read more about our work in Egypt.