Morocco launches "Awrach" employment programme

This project is part of the national plan to create 250,000 direct jobs between 2022 and 2023
Employees of the French Renault group in Morocco work on a production line at the Renault factory in Tangier.

AFP/FADEL SENNA  -   Employees of the French Renault group in Morocco work on a production line at the Renault factory in Tangier

The Moroccan government has launched one of its new plans as one of its new initiatives for the new year. Under the mandate of Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, the Alawite country's authorities have launched an economic programme, under the name of "Awrach". This initiative aims to create 250,000 direct jobs between 2022 and 2023. The head of government has set up a strategic committee, chaired by himself, to ensure its full success.

The project has a financial contribution of 2.5 billion dirhams. The government's focus has been on trying to gradually restore employment, as one of the reasons and causes of unemployment has been the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused many world economies and hence jobs to plummet.

The programme has two main components that make up the whole project. The first addresses the issue of launching a number of temporary public jobs with an average duration of about six months to improve the economic situation of unemployed Moroccans or those who have not yet started working. The second part of this idea will encourage and create workshops to support sustainable integration, where anyone can sign up in an attempt to gain better work experience when looking for a job.

Laboratorio del centro de formación en tecnologías de la información "1337" en la ciudad central de Marruecos, Khouribga
AFP/FADEL SENNA - Laboratory of the "1337" IT training centre in the central Moroccan city of Khouribga.

The Kingdom's new directive is in the process of developing more ideas to boost employment and improve the nation's unemployment rate. The latest figures show an unemployment rate of 12.8%, a direct consequence of the ravages of COVID-19. 

"Awrach" is not the only programme in the pipeline for implementation. The government also plans to launch the "Forsa" programme. This has a cost of Dh1.25 billion and its main objective is to support entrepreneurship, whereby workshops, talks and other activities will be carried out to encourage entrepreneurs' enthusiasm to improve their situation.

Establishing these projects will boost Morocco's economy. The Kingdom anticipates that after the development of these programmes, the nation's wealth will grow by around 4% over the next five years, and as circumstances progress, a million net jobs will be created. 

Mina de fosfato en la fábrica de Boucraa de la Compañía Nacional de Fosfatos de Marruecos (OCP) situada en las provincias del sur, a 100 km al suroeste de la ciudad de El Aaiún
REUTERS/YOUSSEF BOUDLAL - Phosphate mine at the Boucraa factory of the Moroccan National Phosphate Company (OCP) in the southern provinces, 100 km southwest of the city of Laayoune.

Despite the coronavirus, and all the consequences it has had on all sectors, Morocco has been able to experience a slight improvement on the employment front. Compared to 2020 data, the Alawi country created 642,000 new jobs in the third quarter of 2021. The figures reveal a growth due to an improvement in domestic demand in conjunction with the good harvest in the agricultural sector that the nation has had throughout the year. 

Agricultural workers were one of the biggest beneficiaries and one of the sectors where most jobs were created. In total, the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector collected 190,000 job positions. Together with other sectors, the rural areas saw an increase in the employed population, with 274,000 jobs created in the past year. 

The "Awrach" programme, in addition to its main mission, has also taken into account the situation of some Moroccan women. The focus on gender equality in the sector is an important part of this project. Women in Morocco are increasingly taking their place in society, but this change is most noticeable in urban areas and large cities. In contrast, women's unemployment is higher in the more rural regions, and their access to education is much more restricted by the means at their disposal. 

Mercado de verduras en las afueras de Casablanca
REUTERS/YOUSSEF BOUDLAL - Vegetable market on the outskirts of Casablanca

Many of these jobs, in the majority of cases, have not been remunerated and, in the beginning, were always linked to housework and jobs considered to be women's activities. Successive governments have been tackling this problem and little by little the work that women do has changed, and they have been able to access much higher positions than they could before. Even so, there is still work to be done to eradicate this problem and the government is firmly committed to improving the situation of women.