World news story

British-French joint cooperation to support employment in Tunisia

A UK-French initiative to improve the entrepreneurship skills of young Tunisians in Gafsa, Kasserine, Medenine, and Tataouine.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Though a joint French - British cooperation, Mercy Corps Tunisia and the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment signed, on 9 May, an agreement to implement a three-year development programme named ‘Tounes tekhdem’ (Tunisia is working). This programme aims to improve the entrepreneurship skills of young Tunisians in the southern governorates of Gafsa, Kasserine, Medenine, and Tataouine, to enable them to create and grow their own small businesses.

The agreement was signed by Mercy Corps and by the Minister of Vocational Training and Employment in the presence of the ambassadors of the UK and France and senior representatives of the National Agency for Employment and Independent Work and the Tunisian Agency for Vocational Training.

Tounis Tekhdem’ targets 3500 young people enrolled in Vocational Training Centres, unemployed university and vocational training graduates and young entrepreneurs, all living in less advantaged areas in Tunisia.

Through funding from the British Department for International Development (DFID), and by the French Development Agency (AFD), the project will support business creation and nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit to create and develop around 125 enterprises.

Mercy Corps will provide technical assistance to the private and public sectors in order to ensure that financial and other services are accessible and appropriate for young entrepreneurs.

This will be achieved through a set of activities that include the development of training materials for financial education, entrepreneurship and life skills. It also includes improving links between the private sector and Vocational Training Centres through networking events and developing mentoring systems for young entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the event, the British Ambassador, Chris O’Connor, said:

Job creation was one of the main demands of the Tunisian revolution. Unemployment and unequal development between regions need to be addressed. That’s why this project is so important. This project will better equip young Tunisians from less advantaged areas to create their own companies and their own employment. That in turn will lead to the wider development of their regions and more job opportunities for others.

Click here to read the Ambassador’s speech, in French.

For more information

Published 10 May 2013