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Education for Employment and The MasterCard Foundation Partner to Increase Youth Employment in Morocco

Nation-wide program will link 15,500 unemployed, disadvantaged young people to education, employment and civic engagement opportunities

Casablanca and Toronto, November 17, 2011 – Education for Employment (EFE) and The MasterCard Foundation today launched a partnership to increase the employability skills of 15,500 unemployed and disadvantaged youth in Morocco. The project, called MORAD, is part of a four-year, $3.2 million partnership between EFE and The MasterCard Foundation and will be implemented by EFE’s Moroccan affiliate, EFE-Maroc. The project will be launched at an event in Casablanca, which will be attended by young people and local and international partners, such as the Ministry of Youth and Sport, ManpowerGroup, Microsoft, YNNA Holding, the University Hassan II and Amal Job.

“The partnership with The MasterCard Foundation will scale up the EFE model for youth employment and build on the strong track record and partnerships developed in Morocco to help turn the country’s youth unemployment crisis into its most promising economic dividend,” said Jamie McAuliffe, EFE President and CEO. “Together, we will create a brighter future for thousands of youth through training courses that lead to meaningful employment opportunities.”

As part of this project, 3,000 unemployed university graduates (half of whom will be young women) will receive market-relevant training, of which at least 80 percent will be placed in career building jobs. EFE and its local partners will use mobile phone platforms to connect young job seekers to prospective employers and send informational updates. To extend its reach, EFE will provide employability training to a larger and more diverse segment of 12,500 economically disadvantaged young people. After completion of training, youth participants will enter the EFE alumni network where they will have the opportunity to interact with peers using web portals and social media tools, receive ongoing mentoring support and take on civic engagement and leadership in their communities.

“EFE effectively equips young people with market-relevant skills and links them to employers,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “The MasterCard Foundation is pleased to expand this innovative program that is meeting the needs of young people and employers to promote youth employment in Morocco.”

EFE will collaborate with ManpowerGroup and Microsoft, who have been involved since the early stages of the project. ManpowerGroup will provide a work-readiness curriculum, train-the-trainer program, on-line courses, talent management system (including psychometric testing), capacity building and leadership to EFE Maroc and its beneficiaries. Young people will also benefit from the collaboration between EFE and Microsoft, which will provide software and IT curricula essential for succeeding in today’s job market.

In Morocco, more than 40 percent of people between 15 and 34 years of age are unemployed. This rate is disproportionally higher for young women. This project aims to reduce youth unemployment by directly addressing the mismatch between young people’s skill sets and what employers demand. EFE will work closely with its network of universities, local and international companies, NGOs and youth centers to deliver training and job placements that are directly linked to sectors that have high potential for growth but lack qualified human resources. Based on business requirements, employers from these sectors will be asked to commit to hiring a certain number of disadvantaged young people who complete EFE’s training. This demand-driven model equips young people with market-relevant skills, and at the same time enables local businesses to employ qualified young people who can help their businesses grow and compete. EFE will share lessons learned from this project with government agencies and international organizations to assess how this model can be replicated across the MENA region.

About EFE 

Education For Employment is a network of affiliated non-profit organizations that develops and delivers tailored courses for unemployed youths in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). EFE’s vision is to empower youths with the skills and opportunities they need to build careers that create a better future for themselves, their communities and the world. The network identifies job opportunities and placements for its graduates with employers across the region. To date in Morocco EFE has placed 83% of its graduates in jobs – significantly higher than the global average of 50%. For more information, please visit www.efefoundation.org.

About The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation advances microfinance and youth learning to promote financial inclusion and prosperity. Through collaboration with committed partners in more than 45 countries, The MasterCard Foundation is helping people living in poverty to access opportunities to learn and prosper. An independent, private foundation based in Toronto, Canada, The MasterCard Foundation was established through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide at the time of the company’s initial public offering in 2006. For more information, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org.

Contacts:

Krista Pawley
V.P. Communications
The MasterCard Foundation
Email: kpawley@mastercardfdn.org
Tel: 647-837-5787
Mariel Davis
Communications Associate
Education for Employment Foundation
Email: mdavis@efefoundation.org
Tel: 1 212 371 7755