Dissemination Event, Algiers, March 16th 2019

On Saturday March 16th, 2019, nearly 200 stakeholders gathered at the Hotel l’Aurassi in Algiers to participate in the Dissemination Event of the Labour Market Research conducted as part of the Building Algerian Youth’s Future (BAYF) project. Funded by the UK Government through its Embassy in Algiers and implemented by EFE in Algeria in cooperation with the consulting firm Brenco, BAYF has allowed for an in-depth analysis of the Algerian labour market in eight wilayas throughout the country: Ain Saleh, Béchar, Bordj Bou Arréridj, Ghardaïa, In Amenas, Oran, Ouargla, and Tamanrasset. Involving the private and public sectors, institutions, civil society, and combining focus-groups, individual interviews, questionnaires and artificial intelligence over a period of three months, the preliminary results of the study were presented, provoking lively discussions. Debates were sparked by the great variety of stakeholders present: EFE employer-partners from the private sector, institutions, representatives of Embassies and diplomatic delegations, representatives of civil society, not to forget EFE’s local trainers in Algeria.

The results of the comprehensive analysis highlighted the general mismatch between public education and private sector’s companies’ demands. As such, 51% of young jobseekers attribute their persistent unemployment to the lack of job opportunities, and 51% of them believe that the public education system does not prepare them for working life. The high-growth sectors identified during the research were agriculture and handicrafts (especially in the South of the country), tourism (in particular in the wilaya of Oran), and the manufacturing and recycling industry. The digital sector was also identified as a job-generating sector, constituting a particularly interesting one as the study shows that 93% of young jobseekers spend over an hour a day on the internet (and 55% spend more than 3 hours per day). When almost 100% of young Algerian job seekers own a smartphone, the need improve communication between all labour market stakeholders using digital platforms in a spirit of collaborative open innovation is undeniable.

An array of recommendations to improve the labour market and access to jobs were presented and discussed by all participants. These included the importance of constructively increasing young job seekers’ self-confidence (57% of young job-seekers claimed to feel more confident after a first job interview), the interest in improving the generally negative image of vocational training, the great potential of the digital world in increasing openness and communication between the various labour market stakeholders, the recognition of the importance of soft skills and their integration into institutional educational programs, and the positive results that would benefit from capacity-building efforts for the Algerian institutional actors directly linked to employment. Participants in the event seemed to unanimously agree on a fundamental point: we must act as soon as possible for employment with concrete and inclusive solutions, taking advantage of the wave of change that Algeria and its people is currently experiencing.