El Ferdaous also mentioned the importance of a measure in the 2021 finance bill aimed at promoting youth employment.
Meknes – Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture Othman El Ferdaous revealed on Monday his vision for an inter-ministerial commission to support Morocco’s youth strategy.
During a session at the House of Representatives, El Ferdaous spoke about his department’s plans to implement a sectoral strategy relating to youth in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
El Ferdaous recalled that the 2021 finance bill includes a promising measure to reduce youth unemployment rates. The suspension of many economic activities cost the Moroccan economy the loss of 581,000 jobs, including 237,000 positions in cities and 344,000 in rural areas.
To remedy this, the text includes an income tax exemption that encourages employers to hire young people and create new jobs, reducing initial recruitment costs. El Ferdaous described the measure as “important” in view of the incentives it offers to counter the repercussions of the pandemic on the job market.
The youth minister also expressed his department’s commitment to the success of Intelaka Program, with a special focus on the rural youth component. Moroccan officials inaugurated the Intelaka Program on February 3 to encourage young entrepreneurs, largely through improving access to financing for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
El Ferdaous also said the ministry is working to “rehabilitate” Morocco’s youth centers. A shortage of human resources caused 100 of the country’s 650 youth centers to close, he added.
The minister highlighted the importance of the centers in implementing cultural programming and vitalizing the ministry’s youth strategy.
The ministry is also planning “mobile” means for access to cultural and sports activities given their importance in youth’s life, especially in remote and rural areas that do not have youth centers.
“Given the current epidemiological situation, a number of public spaces and structures in the sector have been closed,” he said. However, he added that youth facilities have reopened nurseries to facilitate women’s access to the labor market.