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04 Jun 2024

F&S Engaged in a Project to Create Jobs for Youth in The Moroccan IT Sector

Our consultant Annelien Meerts is since April engaged as institutional and MSD expert in a project of CBI in the Moroccan IT sector. The aim of the project is to reduce youth unemployment by strengthening Moroccan IT SMEs, by developing services that support them in exporting their services and that improve their HR practices to better attract, develop and retain talented youth. A team of 4 experts: institutional and MSD experts Annelien Meerts and Heuda Guessous and IT sector experts Jack Put and Amine Zarouk are implementing the project.

The project is currently in its inception phase and research is being done to understand what the opportunities and constraints for IT SMEs are to grow their business and create more jobs for youth (18-30 years). During two missions in April and May, Moroccan IT SMEs, youth and other relevant organizations (schools and universities, youth organizations, governmental institutions and agencies, etc.) were interviewed in different regions in Morocco.

Last week, the team members presented preliminary results of the research during a breakfast meeting at the GITEX Africa IT fair. Below an overview of the most important results is given:.

– Moroccan IT SMEs interviewed hire mainly youth;

– Though there are many IT graduates on the job market, SMEs stated that they still need to develop their soft and specific technical skills to be able to work for them. This requires a significant investment from their side;

– Youth often switch jobs after 2-3 years. They want to be all-rounders in IT, while SMEs are looking for experts;

– Youth have high expectations: in terms of salary, possibilities for flexible or hybrid work and they value working in a team and mental health;

– SMEs experience constraints to grow their business such as finding new and longer-term clients, access to finance and cash flow issues, optimization of business operation and a lack of an enabling business environment;

– The region Casablanca-Rabat has a more developed IT eco-system than other regions in Morocco, in terms of local clients, maturity of IT SMEs and demand for jobs in the sector. Youth are also more demanding and turnover is higher;

– Challenges and opportunities of IT SMEs differ different ‘sub-sectors’ of the IT sector. For instance, recruitment dynamics of SMEs that search for AI professionals differ from those who recruit web designers. In addition, small IT companies and start-ups face different challenges than medium and more matured companies. Examples are: medium companies have more capacity to internally train youth, but experience larger problems with the lack of an enabling business environment than smaller companies.

In the coming months, the expert team will continue to do research. Based on the findings a project framework with interventions will be developed. The inception phase is envisaged to end in November. After that, implementation of the project will start.

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