Moroccan university graduates forced to work in informal sector, a field research reveals

Moroccan university graduates forced to work in informal sector, a field research reveals

Field research on informal employment revealed that the vast majority of Moroccan university graduates are forced to search for job opportunities in the informal labour market, inciting concerns and anxieties about the future of Moroccan youth in the labor market. 

The study, carried out by Abd al-Haq al Bakouri, a professor of sociology at Mohammed I University in Oujda, was presented at a conference on “Youth and Social Change” at the University Institute for African, Euro-Mediterranean and Ibero-American Studies in Rabat

It indicated that all respondents confirmed that the motives that prompted their engagement in the informal sector are attributable to the lack of job opportunities and the absence of real alternatives.

80 %of the respondents expressed their deep dissatisfaction with the employment policy and labour market in Morocco, stressing that the labour market does not provide sufficient positions for young people.

They maintained that university graduates face difficulties finding a job in the public and private sectors, despite the fact that their qualifications and competencies are in line with the market requirements. 

In a statement to MoroccoLatestNews English, Walid A, a university graduate selling used books on streets, stated that “Moroccan Youth are forced to work in insecure jobs and under unfortunate conditions, because of scarce job opportunities and corrupt employment services.”

He continued saying, “Five years ago, I thought that a master’s degree would secure me a respectable position, but reality choked me.”

“My refined scholarly qualifications and excellent academic records were unable to help me find a decent job, because of the prevailing corruption and nepotism in the work market.

“Those with the authority to hire ignore qualified candidates and instead hire their family members and acquaintances,” Walid stressed.

According to the results of the study, which include 150 professionals in the informal sector, 80% of the respondents have received higher education and obtained university degrees.

They asserted that the certificates obtained are compatible with economic development and that their level of education allows them to obtain a job, justifying their employment in the informal market by the lack of job opportunities. 

100 % of the respondents believe that the state is responsible for their employment in the informal sector, “because it has not formulated a clear-cut policy addressing unemployed youth; despite the existence of three programs aiming at integrating young people, especially university graduates, to integrate into the labour market.’’ 

Walid A holds the government accountable for the miserable situation of university graduates, for he believes that the unemployment problem could be easily solved if serious attention was given to it.

He stated, “If the government was serious about our situation and future, we would not see youth with advanced education and training struggling to make ends meet.”

The informal sector workers live in a precarious social situation, as they are deprived of basic rights and privileges.

In a previous report, the High Commissioner for Planning showed that 98 %of the labour force working in this sector does not have health coverage, and 97 %  of them do not have a written employment contract.

On the contrary, 60% of the respondents in the study said that they are comfortable economically and socially, while 40% said the opposite, due to their “inability to satisfy their necessary personal desires,” and their “lack of capital that would help them get married and buy a house and a car.”

The study concluded that the inability of the Moroccan employment policy to create job opportunities forced the orientation of young graduates towards informal work.

The study included a number of proposals to overcome this problem such as developing a clear policy that takes into account the diversity of informal work and understands the complex aspects in order for it to become an organised sector.

It also called for strengthening the solidarity economy to achieve social security and eliminate all forms of poverty and social deprivation.

Walid A suggests that the government should work to curb youth unemployment by creating more job opportunities and combatting all forms of corruption and favouritism in the workplace, stressing the need to help encourage university graduates and invest in their futures.


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