Youth employment organisation Education For Employment (EFE) and Citi Foundation this week announced that they will expand a partnership aimed at creating job and economic opportunities for unemployed youth in the MENA region.
The expanded partnership builds on the work the two organisations have done together since 2013. In that time, the Citi Foundation has enabled EFE to train hundreds of Moroccan and Tunisian youth in demand-driven skills such as sales, healthcare, and professionalism in the workplace.
Funding from the Citi Foundation paired with other supporters such as Accenture Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation helped over 340 youth in Morocco and Tunisia to secure jobs at companies ranging from major multinationals to local SMEs
The trainings, which involved e-learning on a platform developed by Accenture, respond to a growing interest in e-learning identified by the Citi and EIU study, which found that only 10% of youth in the Middle East and Africa take classes online, but more than twice that amount favor the platform for learning.
Three hundred youth in Morocco and Tunisia will undergo workplace readiness training supported by the partnership. The training addresses a key finding of a study Citi commissioned and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) undertook on how cities around the world support young people’s ambitions and contribute to their economic prospects. It revealed that when compared to their peers globally, youth in the Middle East and Africa are most likely to say that they are not acquiring the necessary skills to get work.
The Citi and EFE partnership will support youth beyond skills training. Over 180 of the young women and men will benefit from technical sales trainings, with at least 75% linked to full-time job and internship opportunities – a unique element of EFE’s model.
In addition, with Citi Foundation’s support EFE’s UAE Hub is generating more job opportunities for graduates of the EFE Network operating in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
“At EFE, our 40 000 alumni demonstrate a simple truth: when young women and men have the skills they need to get and keep a job, they thrive as individuals, as employees, and as leaders in their community,” says Salvatore Nigro, Vice President at Education For Employment – Global and CEO of EuropEFE. “As an early supporter of our work, the Citi Foundation has been instrumental to enabling this impact, and to helping us build a strong foundation to bring it to scale. We are proud to expand our partnership with the Citi Foundation, an organization which shares our belief in the positive power of MENA’s youth, and our urgency in helping them to reach their potential.”
The EFE-Citi Foundation partnership is part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress approach designed to prepare urban youth with the career readiness tools and opportunities to thrive in today’s economy.
“We are proud to renew our partnership with EFE and invest in youth through programs to help enable economic resilience and long-term competitiveness in the [region]” said Karim Seifeddine, Head of Public Affairs, Citi, Middle East and Africa. “Recognizing that youth unemployment is the single most pressing item on the economic and sociopolitical agenda across MENA, we continue to support programs that catalyze economic growth and provide our youth with economic opportunities to thrive and promote continued progress.”