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Workshop on measures to foster international employment as part of the solution to tackle youth unemployment in Tunisia (Tunis)

The ILM team chaired a workshop on employment of Tunisian workers abroad within the framework of the broader National Congress on Employment held in partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO) on June 28-30 in Tunis. This workshop had two main objectives: (1) to reach a common understanding of the main policy issues and capacity constraints related to international labor mobility; (2) to identify and agree on a series of concrete measures to increase the placement of Tunisian workers abroad as part of the array of actionable solutions in the short term to tackle the unemployment crisis in the domestic labor market. Three core issues featured prominently in the discussions: (i) Improving the functioning of existing bilateral labor arrangements, such as the bilateral labor agreement with France, and replicating the model where relevant. At the industry level, increasing Tunisia’s outreach to foreign employers in selected sectors where complementarities and/or shortages exist on both sides; (ii) Strengthening public services for employment abroad and sorting out an effective and efficient division of labor between public and private arrangements for international recruitment. Despite the recent legislation to liberalize private labor intermediation, private agencies have placed a limited number of workers in international markets; (iii) Devising a well informed marketing and skills upgrading strategy to increase market penetration in old and new destinations (especially Canada), targeting strategic sectors where comparative advantages exist or can be built. The ILM program’s ongoing work on all these issues was able to inform the discussion and highlight potential solutions on each of these core issues.