IFC Launches Interactive Training to Help Boost Youth Employment in Tunisia
Tunis, Tunisia, August 7, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with the Tunisian Engineering University ESPRIT to help strengthen the employability of graduating students, part of IFC’s efforts to reduce youth unemployment and encourage economic development in Tunisia.
Through the agreement ESPRIT will adapt and deliver IFC’s Business Edge training program, which will strengthen the business and soft skills of final-year undergraduate engineering students. This will complement the set of services ESPRIT offers to help students enter the workforce. ESPRIT will also utilize Business Edge modules to enhance the performance of engineers already working in smaller businesses through its continuing education center.
“Our joint effort with IFC will help us provide skilled workers to fulfill the current demands of the market,” said Tahar Ben Lakhdar, ESPRIT CEO.
Antoine Courcelle-Labrousse, IFC Country Manager for Tunisia, said, “Fostering private sector growth and generating employment are top priorities for IFC in Tunisia. To achieve this, it is important to help Tunisian youth acquire the right skills, both technical and managerial, for the jobs being created.”
Business Edge has been used by over 140,000 people around the world, including 59,000 in the Middle East and North Africa. The agreement with ESPRIT is part of IFC’s effort to combat youth unemployment in Tunisia, which reached 30 percent in 2011. It’s also part of a pilot program to help Arab youth in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan acquire the skills necessary to find work. The Middle East and North Africa have one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world, estimated at 25%. That costs the economy an estimated $40 billion to $50 billion annually.