Project Dates: September 2017 - May 2023
In Tunisia, high unemployment — particularly among college-educated youth — has been an ongoing source of sociopolitical tension and has left some Tunisian youth more susceptible to recruitment by extremist political groups. This is especially true in Tunisia’s rural regions, which are economically disadvantaged. For Tunisia to succeed politically and economically, it must focus on job creation, skill development, and business opportunities.
The USAID-funded Jobs, Opportunities and Business Success (JOBS) Activity creates jobs in Tunisia by providing targeted assistance to individual firms, allowing them to expand and hire new employees. JOBS improves workforce development and job placement by reforming the curricula of educational institutions to focus more on skills demanded by the private sector while also strengthening the capacity of job placement centers. The Activity also identifies and advocates for improvements in Tunisia’s business enabling environment through target policy reform. This approach increases inclusive private sector employment, which strengthens Tunisia’s political and socio-economic stability.
1) Provide small and medium enterprises with resources and know-how to increase their competitiveness
- Identify SMEs to receive project assistance and develop firm-specific Growth Plans outlining target improvements to business processes leading to the creation of sustainable demand-driven jobs.
- Identify target markets for increased exporting in key sectors such as agro-industry, light manufacturing, and technology.
- Improve access to finance for client firms by developing partnerships with the banking sector.
- Increase foreign direct investment.
2) Improve the match between university and vocational training systems and the actual needs of Tunisian businesses
- Identify major educational/workforce skills gaps and assist vocational, technical, and higher education institutions to develop new curricula to address prioritized reforms.
- Assist in establishing additional career counseling centers and in upgrading existing ones that will serve all regions to ensure they are efficiently providing career counseling and other relevant services to job-seekers.
- Improve vocational training centers’ capabilities to provide technical trainings based on market needs.
3) Strengthen Tunisia’s business enabling environment by working with the public and private sectors to promote policy and regulatory reforms
- Identify priority reforms that will have the most direct impact on SME growth.
- Assist client firms to participate in the business environment reform process.
4) Communicate to Tunisians, especially youth, the importance of market-led economic growth and entrepreneurship
- Establish benchmarks of youth attitudes covering youth marginalization, unmet youth expectations around economic expectations, perceived employment opportunities and challenges, and expected areas for job growth.
- Conduct a media outreach campaign targeting youth and entrepreneurs to widely communicate business opportunities and areas for growth.