The National Emerging Industries Plan (PNEI) identified increasing demand for skilled workers in a range of industries. These include off-shoring, textile, agro-business, aeronautics and automobile industry. The plan identified a need for more skilled workers in these sectors. For the economy to adapt to these new sources of growth, the labour force needs to have the right skills and If young Moroccans are offered high quality training, they will certainly have a much better chance to succeed.
To support this plan, the British Council is working in partnership with the Secretariat of State responsible for vocational education as well as representatives from these sectors to support the development of new education and qualification systems that meet the needs of local employers, produce highly-skilled workers and fulfil the ambitions of the PNEI.
“I would like to congratulate all cohorts of this year’s Taqaddam programme. They have showed a great deal of confidence and sense of team work and collaboration that will be a great asset to their institutes, communities and future employers”. Abdelaziz Meftah, General Director of The Moroccan Association for Automotive Industry and Trade, AMICA
Morocco’s automotive industry is rapidly growing due to government incentives as well as other competitive factors. However, the rapid and evolving innovations in technology are changing the skill set that employers are looking for in the automotive technology industry. While having technical skills is crucial, the trainable workforce cannot rely on just trade-based skills. There is an increased demand for soft skills among the workforce. For instance, communication, decision-making and negotiation skills are the three essential abilities that the automotive industry is looking for. Being able to lead, problem-solve, innovate and influence people cross-functionally is an important attribute that will be of high value throughout this sector.
The Skills for Employability Programme in Morocco supports the achievement of this objective through skills partnerships with the Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research as well as VET institutions to collaborate on improving the technical and vocational education offer.
At the British Council in Morocco we are running the Taqaddam pilot project with the objective to develop precisely those core life and employment skills needed for VET students and new graduates to be better prepared for the transition from the world of school into the world of work.
Taqaddam, which means “moving forward” in Arabic, has been devised by HSBC and the British Council. It focuses not on academic work but on developing qualities such as team building, emotional intelligence and leadership, all necessary whatever the shape of the future workplace.
All Taqaddam activities are planned to provide young people with a greater understanding of life skills and to communicate and demonstrate these skills to others, including employers in the future. In their final task, students demonstrate their learning by presenting a solution to a global or social challenge affecting their community.
The programme develops confidence, commitment, determination, organisational skills and self-belief. It runs in several MENA countries, in collaboration with national education ministries.
Assia Afif, Director of Programmes at IFMIA Casablanca, said: “In a constantly changing environment, having life skills is an essential part of being able to meet the challenges of everyday life. To cope with the increasing pace and change of modern life, Taqaddam students and teachers acquired throughout the seven weeks a set of life skills that will benefit them over the course of their lives, the positive impact goes beyond what we could have imagined”.
The Taqaddam Morocco pilot has reached over 400 students and 25 teachers from six automotive technology VET departments at the National Institute for Vocational Training for the Automotive Industry (IFMIA). This pilot programme ran in Casablanca with the ambition to be extended nationwide involving over 2,000 students.
The focus was on IFMIA as a new public-private partnership for vocational training and a new model of governance of the VET system in Morocco, where there is full involvement of employers in all training processes.
Taqaddam was delivered in English as an extra-curricular activity, involving workshops and seven weekly classes that were tailored to the specific education context and the proposed timetable. This included an emphasis on life skills for employability and aligning the ‘Make it Happen’ process with the students’ course and curriculum.
Throughout the workshops and classes we supported life skills development for students in technical colleges and piloted Taqaddam in an FE/TVET context, with a focus on life skills for employability.
All Taqadadam beneficiaries celebrated the winners of this year Taqaddam life skills programme at the ‘Make it Happen’ event. It was an opportunity for students to put the Life Skills they have been exploring during the workshops, classes into action. 400 students came together to display their ideas for social action and change in their own communities. With more than 45 projects presented, students showcased their exciting ideas and innovations to help make the world a better place, and it is a chance to celebrate their whole journey and development.
Members of the judging panel were: Steve Broadbent and Nadya Mezeli from the British Council Morocco and Saad Aiouche and Abdelaziz Meftah from The Moroccan Association for Automotive Industry and Trade (AMICA). The winning teams were: Tech in Service 1st place, Smart Resilience 2nd place and Tesla team 3rd place
This pilot year’s Taqaddam students showed a strong sense of innovation and creativity. The winning projects aim to find environmentally friendly recycling solutions in order to benefit their communities and raise awareness about the importance of reducing waste and the best way to conserve energy and prevent air, water and noise pollution.