The large number of young NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training or not in employment, education or training) in Morocco is very worrying, as prolonged inactivity leads to long-term unemployment, the World Bank (WB) 2021 report tells us “ Employment landscape in Morocco Mapping barriers to an inclusive labor market (HCP). Over the last decade, the total share of NEETs, the document continues, has not changed significantly, hovering around 30% of the population aged 15 to 24.
People with NEET status in 2010 tended to stay out of the labor market and school networks even after 10 years, with very little chance of changing status. Improving this situation will not be easy, and therefore requires an urgent and comprehensive approach. What must be done to fully integrate this social category, the NEETs, into working life? The report indicates that in Morocco this phenomenon is more accentuated than anywhere else in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in this part of the world which already registers the worst results than many others, developed or developing. Morocco is part of the podium behind Yemen and Iraq and ahead of Egypt and Tunisia (respectively 28% and 25%).
In Morocco, the document continues, gender disparities among NEETs present another problem. The female element is more likely to be part of the NEETs (76.4%) than men, although between 2007 and 2019 the situation improved for women due to the increase in school enrollment rates. This phenomenon is not unique to Morocco. WB stigmatizes the roots of this evil through education, gender, family background and area of residence. She also notes that young brides with a low level of education (disregarding children) tend to represent a large proportion of NEET women in the Kingdom but also in the MENA region, due to social norms responsible for disparities between genders. genres. Residents of medium-sized cities are more likely to be NEET than those in urban areas than those in rural areas. Gender, education and family background, social norms and traditions are determining factors in the risk of becoming NEET, always to the detriment of women.
Men for their part are mainly considered as providers of the household, while daughters, wives or mothers are housewives (household and childcare chores) and married women find it even more difficult to integrate the work market. The report goes on to say that initiatives aimed at reintegrating NEETs into the labor market are certainly costly, but are also of an urgent nature. In Morocco, the labor market is suffering from immobility, which requires both prevention and mitigation measures in order to improve the conditions of long-term NEETs, particularly among women, especially since despite the improvement level of women’s education, this disadvantaged position persists. For the WB, it is a wasted educational investment as well as an underutilization of resources. It therefore calls on politicians to give priority to initiatives aimed at combating deeply rooted social norms.
Morocco’s GDP per capita has almost doubled over the past two decades while Morocco’s PFMT (Participation of Women in the Labor Market) rate was around 22% in 2019, has declined somewhat, lagging behind to countries with a similar level of economic development. For the WB, this is a situation that describes the difficulty the Kingdom has in closing the gap with world rates. The Moroccan PFMT, although higher than that of most countries in the MENA region (one of the highest rates), has however decreased over the last decades. In addition, the WB worries, Kingdom is one of the very few countries where the rate of PFMT has decreased since 2005, while the average rates of PFMT have increased worldwide between 2000 and 2019.
Ultimately, compared to almost twenty years ago, inactive Moroccan women (both in rural and urban areas) have a better level of education, are older, have fewer children and are more often married. While in 2018 inactive women in rural areas generally had the same civil status as those living in urban areas, they were less educated, younger and had more children.