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Vulnerability at work and low quality of jobs held by rural youth and women

In rural areas, the low level of qualification and participation of young people and women in working life was highlighted by a recent study carried out by the Policy Center For The New South (PCNS). The results of the survey conducted in the province of Taounate thus testify to a vulnerability to work and the low quality of the jobs held by these young rural people, particularly women.

While welcoming the significant efforts that have been made in Morocco in recent years to adapt the active employment programs in force to the conditions of young rural people through initiatives to experiment with territorialized employment policies, the results of the survey carried out by the PCNS, underline the need to set up targeted interventions to help young rural people, in particular the Neets (neither in employment, nor in education, nor in training) who have accumulated deficits in terms of education and training and soft skills, in order to improve their employability and facilitate their transition to working life.

titled ” Young Neets and intermediation in the labor market in rural areas“, the survey indicates that the analysis of retrospective labor market data from the national employment survey shows that out of a total of 6.9 million young people aged 15-24 at Nationally in 2020, nearly 2.4 million lived in rural areas, or 40.2%, thus recording a drop of nearly eight percentage points compared to 2000 (48.1%).

This decline is more pronounced among young workers, the survey specifies, in particular young women who are less and less present on the labor market. Indeed, if the activity rate in rural areas is 50% in 2020, it is only 23.7% among rural women and 28.5% among young rural people aged 15-24, raises the survey, noting that these rates were 37.5% and 57.6% respectively in 2000.

Thus, the Policy Center paper argues that the increasingly delayed access of rural women and young rural people to working life can be explained in particular by the major efforts made in recent years in the field of schooling in the rural world. .

Low level of qualification despite the efforts made

In its survey carried out in Taounate, the Policy Center for The New South notes that despite the efforts made by Morocco over the past two decades in terms of schooling, young rural people are generally poorly educated.

In detail, the same source indicates that almost a fifth of young people aged 15-24 in rural areas (17%) have never entered school (2014), 66.8% have the level fundamental, 13.6% have the secondary level and only 2.1% were able to have a higher level.

According to gender, rural girls still lag considerably behind in terms of schooling compared to young men, the survey reveals, noting that almost a quarter (23%) of girls aged 15-24 have never access to school (against 15.1% for young men) and only 1.8% who have a higher level, against 2.4% for young men.

As for the access of rural workers to diplomas, the survey specifies that this also remains a major challenge to be taken up by the public authorities. She thus argues that in 2020, nearly three-quarters (73.3%) of rural workers declared that they had no diploma, 23.1% had a medium-level diploma4 and only 3.5% had a higher degree level. These rates are respectively 36%, 37.3% and 26.6% for workers in urban areas, which means that young city dwellers have a relatively high level of qualification compared to rural young people, the survey reveals.

Youth unemployment masked by underemployment

Unemployment remains one of the burdens and challenges facing Morocco. In the results of its survey, the PCNS argues that while the unemployment rate of young rural people aged 15-24 is relatively low in rural areas, around 16.3% in 2020 (compared to 45.3% among young city dwellers) , the underemployment rate is higher in rural areas, given the specificities and nature of rural activities.

Indeed, underemployment affects 11.6% of rural workers in 2020 (compared to 10.1% in urban areas and 10.7% nationally), according to the same source, noting that young rural people aged 15- 24 year olds are the most affected by underemployment, with a rate of 16.7% against only 6.3% for adults aged 45 and over. According to gender, this rate varies between 3.1% for rural women and 14.2% for rural men.

Furthermore, and overall, the survey underlines that the relatively high rate of underemployment and the low level of qualification and participation of young people and women in working life in rural areas constitute major challenges to be met for their inclusion and enhancement of the potential labor force they constitute.

Thus, the authors of the survey recommend an in-depth analysis of the constraints and transition factors of young rural people towards working life, which will be of great use to the public authorities in implementing appropriate measures to meet the needs specific and to the expectations of this category of young people. However, this analysis requires the availability of detailed data on young rural people, particularly those in a situation of discouragement (Neets), concludes the survey concerning this component.




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