First Jobs, Then Futures for 13,000 MENA Youth

Sep 21, 2011, 17:00 ET from Education For Employment

NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "First Jobs, Then Futures for MENA Youth" will enable 13,000 young women and men in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to build their futures through jobs and entrepreneurship.  Education For Employment's (EFE) three-year, $17-million commitment, announced at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, is made possible through partnerships with The MasterCard Foundation, ManpowerGroup, the United States Department of State Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), Microsoft Corporation, Intel Corporation, the Aspen Institute's Partners for a New Beginning, North Africa Partnership (PNB-NAPEO), and local partners across the MENA region.

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"The Arab Spring has brought hope for a more positive, prosperous future for Arab youth," said Jamie McAuliffe, President and CEO of EFE in the United States.  "For that hope to become a reality, young people will need jobs to support themselves and their families, and enable them to become contributing citizens. With this commitment, EFE is proud to join its partners to expand services that provide economic opportunities for thousands of youth in the MENA region. Ultimately, our aspiration is to help bring about systemic change in MENA that will result in education linked to employment for the millions of youth who so passionately want a better future."

With a goal of linking youth in the MENA region to jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities, EFE and its partners will provide youth with training in core job skills and entrepreneurship, directly linked to job placements and access to business start-up support to create a full circle of support.  

"EFE's market-driven approach and 80 percent job placement rate are unique in the sector," said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. "The MasterCard Foundation's partnership with EFE will increase the employability skills of over 12,000 economically disadvantaged and out-of-school young people in Morocco.  It will facilitate job placement and create opportunities for civic engagement. We hope this program in Morocco will become a model that is replicated across the MENA region," said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation.

This commitment combines the complementary strengths of partners who will provide:

  • Support to scale up its programs in Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco and Yemen, and expand into Tunisia;
  • Market-driven job training for youth and place over 4,000 youth in jobs;
  • Training curricula linked to business start-up support for hundreds of young entrepreneurs;
  • Job-readiness training and internships for over 8,700 youth, and
  • Ongoing support to graduates of the program, such as mentoring, networking, online learning, community service, leadership activities and international exchanges.    

As a partner in the scale-up, ManpowerGroup will build the capacity of EFE's network of locally-run affiliate non-profits across the MENA region.  "Economic development depends on the creation of an appropriately skilled workforce, and EFE has demonstrated a commitment and methodology to advance this in some of the most challenged countries in the world.  As a company that recognizes the dignity and honor work brings, ManpowerGroup is privileged to be EFE's supporter and partner," said David Arkless, President of Corporate and Government Affairs at ManpowerGroup.  

Partners will support the commitment by providing:

  • Support for EFE's scale up across the MENA region and expansion into Tunisia (MEPI);
  • Training and professional development, business process support, curriculum, online entrepreneurship and vocational profile assessment tools, and communications support (ManpowerGroup);
  • Support to scale up nationally in Morocco (The MasterCard Foundation);
  • Digital literacy courses and BizSpark software for entrepreneurs (Microsoft);
  • Entrepreneurship curricula and master training (Intel); and
  • Support for expansion and cross-border programs in North Africa (PNB-NAPEO).

The challenges across MENA, the region with the world's highest youth unemployment rate, are considerable.  Building on EFE's track record in the region placing nearly 2,000 youth in jobs in partnership with the private sector, this commitment addresses the mismatch between skills and market demand and obstacles to women's participation in the economy.

To share expertise and perspectives from the EFE network, Mayyada Abu-Jaber, the CEO of EFE's affiliate the Jordan Education Career Foundation (JCEF), will speak at a special session at CGI moderated by President Bill Clinton on September 21 from 3:45-5:00pm EDT entitled "Voices for Change in the Middle East and North Africa" (live streamed on the CGI website).  The panel will examine the unprecedented large number of educated, technologically connected young people who seek economic opportunity in the MENA region, and what can be done to improve employment options for young people and support positive regional transformation.  

About Education For Employment (EFE)
EFE supports youth in the Middle East and North Africa to build futures through employment.  EFE's distinctive approach is to create a network of locally-run affiliate non-profits across the region, supported by foundations in the United States and Europe.  EFE listens to youth and to the market, by providing economic opportunity through training in demand by the market linked to jobs.  In just a few years, nearly 2,000 youth have been placed in jobs in Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Yemen and Morocco.  EFE is expanding rapidly in these countries and to Tunisia.   EFE is also creating youth entrepreneurship programs with partners.  For more information, see www.efefoundation.org.  

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The 2011 Annual Meeting will take place Sept. 20-22 in New York City.  

This year, CGI also convened CGI America, a meeting focused on developing ideas for driving economic growth in the United States. The CGI community also includes CGI U, which hosts an annual meeting for undergraduate and graduate students, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young CGI members for leadership development and collective commitment-making.  For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.

Supporters of Education For Employment's 2011 CGI Commitment


ManpowerGroup:





"Economic development depends on the creation of an appropriately skilled workforce, and EFE has demonstrated a commitment and methodology to advance this in some of the most challenged countries in the world.  As a company that recognizes the dignity and honor work brings, ManpowerGroup is privileged to be EFE's supporter and partner."
- David Arkless, President of Corporate and Government Affairs, ManpowerGroup
www.manpowergroup.com



Middle East Partnership Initiative:







"MEPI has granted the Education for Employment Foundation $1.45 million to launch an EFE-Tunisia organization, which will support training and employment programs for over 800 young Tunisian jobseekers and entrepreneurs. EFE partners with local business, government and education leaders and adapts the training curricula to ensure that program participants are placed in jobs commensurate with their skills."
- Tamara Cofman Wittes, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State – from an address at the PNB Summit, Aspen Institute, June 2011
www.mepi.state.gov




The MasterCard Foundation:






"EFE's market-driven approach and 80 percent job placement rate are unique in the sector," said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. "The MasterCard Foundation's partnership with EFE will increase the employability skills of over 12,000 economically disadvantaged and out-of-school young people in Morocco.  It will facilitate job placement and create opportunities for civic engagement. We hope this program in Morocco will become a model that is replicated across the MENA region."
- Reeta Roy, President and CEO, The MasterCard Foundation
www.mastercardfdn.org




Microsoft:






"Growth is top of every national agenda in Middle East and North Africa, but it is not about rebuilding the old anew. It is about securing a better future for the young workforce by giving them the tools and know-how to succeed. At Microsoft we believe that real impact and change is only possible through dynamic partnerships like EFE. We are privileged to be able to help drive employability through innovation - powering individuals, organizations and the regional economy towards greater prosperity."  
- Ali Faramawy, President, Microsoft Middle East and Africa
www.microsoft.com




Intel:





"Youth unemployment is one of the most pressing needs in the Middle East today.  Intel is investing to enable entrepreneurs to acquire the skills they need to be successful in the 21st Century and to create the kind of businesses that lead to local innovation and economic development."
- Shelly Esque, Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Intel Corporation
www.intel.com




PNB-NAPEO:




"PNB-NAPEO supports people to people and business to business partnerships that are locally owned and locally driven. Impact can only be achieved through Partnership with local communities. Our partnership with Education for Employment will work with local communities to provide sustainable impact in helping youth develop entrepreneurship and job skills throughout the Maghreb."
- Walter Isaacson, President of the Aspen Institute and Vice Chair of Partners for a New Beginning
www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/new-beginning/regional/pnbnapeo



SOURCE Education For Employment