Nick Cherkas writes
Graduate unemployment in Morocco is one of the biggest challenges facing the country. A staggering one in four of those unemployed has a degree, with the lack of English language skills identified as a clear factor in a country where, according to Euromonitor, nine out of ten job adverts require candidates to demonstrate an intermediate level of English. The report also highlights that only 7 per cent of employers provide English training for staff. So English proficiency is clearly vital for graduates entering work.
To meet this demand, we at the British Council are piloting an English for Employability programme with three universities in Morocco. Some 500 students in Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakech will get language training enabling them to graduate with an improved level of English and also with soft skills enhancing their employability. These include negotiation skills, expressing one’s achievements, interview techniques and CV writing.
We are training teachers at the three universities to deliver the programme, and will be evaluating the programme through observations, ongoing trainer support and feedback from participants in the programme – students, teachers and teacher trainers.
The programme is unique in many ways: input on the materials used, developed by the British Council, has come from employers, teachers and students. The course is planned, administered and run by the universities themselves, with materials, teacher training and monitoring provided by us. The universities hope eventually to offer this training to tens of thousand of students, and they’re working with the British Council to make this ambitious yet essential project a success – the future of their graduates largely depends on it.
Nick Cherkas is English project manager of the British Council Morocco
Safety first: Training in the Gaza Strip for 150 teachers was delayed by the Israeli missle strikes last November. Courtesy British Council Palestinian Territories