Career Centers Offer Moroccan Youth a Passport to Employment

Marouane Bouzakhti shows his newfound skills at a USAID Career Center workshop
Marouane Bouzakhti uses his newfound skills at a USAID career center workshop.
USAID Career Center
A recent graduate sets himself apart from the crowd
“My success is the result of a determination and desire to always learn more.”

October 2017—Despite goodwill and on his way to receiving a Master’s Degree in environmental sciences, Marouane Bouzakhti had great difficulty finding a job in Morocco. The only solution he could think of to improve his chances was to improve his profile to better distinguish himself from other candidates.

He decided to join one of the five career centers opened by USAID in 2016 and 2017 in collaboration with the Moroccan Ministry of Higher Education and Vocational Training. At the career center located at Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Tangier, Bouzakhti benefitted from counseling sessions and soft skills training as well as workshops on job search techniques, resume and cover letter writing, and interview preparation.

In Morocco, youth constitute over 10 million of the total population of 35 million and 80 percent of the unemployed. With the massive wave of recent graduates entering the workforce, it is hard for job growth to keep up with skyrocketing demand. In addition, many graduates lack the skills to communicate effectively with employers and find jobs in their field of study. Launched in 2015, USAID’s Career Center program aims to assist young people transition from education to employment.  

Impressed by the quality of the career center’s services, Bouzakhti took his involvement a step further by becoming one of two dozen youth ambassadors, promoting the center’s services to students and young graduates since June 2016. Passionate and committed to his role, Bouzakhti significantly helped to raise awareness of the center’s services among youth in the northern region of Morocco. He also helped organize numerous events—most notably, a major employment forum in May 2017 focused on private businesses in the Tangier Free Zone. And using his enhanced leadership skills, he led workshops in graphic design at the center and helped to recruit new youth ambassadors.

“My experience with the career center has been very beneficial,” explains Bouzakhti. “Through the workshops and trainings I participated in, I learned to identify my weaknesses and strengths. Also, I improved my current skills, allowing me to offer employers a profile that distinguished me from the other applicants.”

His theory about improving his profile proved to be true: Within a matter of months, Bouzakhti was applying the techniques he learned during the career center workshops to new job interviews. To show his appreciation, he chose to conduct his mandatory end-of-year thesis presentation at his university’s career center. Today, he is working as a customer quality manager at SNOP, a main supplier of metal components for the Renault car manufacturing plant in Tangier.

Bouzakhti is convinced that his experiences with the career center helped him to get where he is today. “My success is the result of a determination and desire to always learn more,” he says. “I sometimes attended three to four workshops a week. The career center has given me the means to live up to my ambitions.”

In the past year, 54,000 youth across Morocco have benefitted from services provided by career centers, both in person and virtually.

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Last updated: October 04, 2017

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