Over 100 companies flocked to Rabat this week to recruit students at Morocco’s premier job fair.
Rabat – Morocco’s youth are key to driving innovation, said speakers and students at the EMI-Enterprises Forum, April 3-4, which connects Moroccan students with businesses searching for talent. The challenge is finding them the right opportunities.
“The forum will help students immerse themselves further into [the] development and progress of our country and all future relative projects,” said Moulay Larbi Abidi, director of the Mohammadia School of Engineers (EMI), in his remarks at the opening ceremony.
This year marks the 25th EMI-Enterprises Forum, which EMI holds each year at its campus. Founded in 1959 by King Mohammed V, the university is Morocco’s leading engineering school and its largest institute of technology.
A quarter-century ago, the forum was Morocco’s first job fair. It has since become EMI’s premier event, bringing companies in from around the globe to Rabat. The forum also hosts experts that workshop students’ resumes and interview skills.
Over 100 businesses set up stands stocked with glossy promotional flyers at EMI on Wednesday—more companies than ever before, according to Bilal Khelil, an engineering student involved in organizing the event.
“We’re celebrating this year 25 years of excellence, 25 years of leading Morocco when it comes to job fairs,” Khelil said.
Economic intelligence for innovation
In March, EMI announced the theme for the 2019 forum’s theme would be “economic intelligence”—the kinds of analytical skills needed to anticipate changes and risk in the economy.
It is a hot topic in the job market right now, Abidi said. Mohammed Rhachi, president of Mohammed V University in Rabat, also emphasized the theme in his remarks.
Development is held “hostage to the adoption of economic intelligence,” he said, adding that its adoption will stimulate innovation and growth.
Such training is vital for students just entering the job market, both said—not only for the graduates as they search for jobs, but for Morocco. The Moroccan economy has suffered from an exodus of high-skilled workers abroad, partly as a result of stubborn unemployment rates.
More than 600 engineers leave the country annually, according to education minister Said Amzazi.
Fighting the brain drain
EMI students at the event, clad in formal red-and-black uniforms, talked about their own hopes for the event and fears for the future.
“It’s hard to find a job that suits you, a job that you can enjoy,” said Salma Mangoug, a second-year engineering student at EMI. Thousands of engineers, she said, graduate and enter the job market each year in Morocco.
For Mangoug, the EMI-Enterprises Forum offered a chance at finding that job. “It’s a real glimpse of hope,” she said.
And while companies abroad might continue seeking out students like Mangoug and Khelil for positions outside of the country, Morocco’s business environment is improving in many sectors.
“Everyone thinks there are more opportunities abroad, and sometimes they can be wrong,” Mangoug said. “They should think again about Morocco, about working here.”