Arfaoui Lassaad

Head of EuroMed Youth Unit Tunisia

Arfaoui Lassaad

Head of EuroMed Youth Unit Tunisia


Project Manager | Head of EuroMed Youth Unit Tunisia

Prior to heading the Tunisia EuroMed Youth Programme Unit since 2013, I was, for 14 years the Executive Director of one of the major non-governmental organisations:” the Youth Science Association of  Tunisia”, this association has as main objective, the building and the development of the capacities of young and youngsters  in sciences  and technologies  through various activities, such as non-formal trainings , thematic seminars, scientific exhibitions, research and publications, through a network of clubs spread throughout the country .All these activities helped many young people to move towards a higher education that will lead to a definite labor market based on scientific and technological aspect, and to get high positions, in a great companies, not only at  national level  but also at an international level too.


Cross Sectorial Approach on Youth Employability in Tunisia

Tunisia, like other countries in the region, has had historically high overall and youth unemployment rates, particularly among college graduates. This problem has been exacerbated after the Arab Spring events which began in Tunisia in early 2011. Tunisia’s economy is estimated to have contracted by close to 2% in 2011 and the overall unemployment rate has risen to around 19% with expectations that it will rise further to 23% by end of 2014. Similarly, Tunisia’s youth unemployment rate rose from 16% in 2010 to around 25% in 2014. While insufficient economic growth has reduced the demand for labour, other factors also explain these historically high unemployment rates in Tunisia. They include: (i) inadequate hard and soft skills; (ii) lack of standards and independent quality assurance across most sectors; (iii) limited information transparency about employment opportunities in different sectors/ specialties; (iv) lack of efficient matchmaking platforms; (v) very limited private provision of post-secondary education (universities and vocational training centres) – among the lowest in the region (vi) limited access to finance for young entrepreneurs, and (vii) lack of private sector employers involvement in influencing the context and learning approaches taken.

The aim of the Tunisia programme is to enhance the employability of youth by increasing their skills relevant to the market through new models for partnership between the public and private sectors, both education providers and employers.

The Tunisia programme has four facets: 1) leading a public-private network; 2) catalysing investment in private sector providers of tertiary, vocational and work readiness education and training; 3) potentially investing directly in a venture fund; and 4) working to improve the investment climate to enable greater private sector investment in education, entrepreneurship .

Youth employment and regional development must rank as top priorities in Tunisia to secure stability and prosperity

Tunisia has made great strides since 2011 towards greater inclusivity and fairness in its political system, based on the rule of law, transparency and good governance. The country now needs to adopt a new growth model to achieve its full potential and cement the democratic transition,

Tunisia’s old development model has run its course, as it has led to stark regional inequalities, frequent state intervention in the economy that stifles productivity, and high unemployment among women and young people, encouraging the latter to resort to informal employment or emigration.

All session by Arfaoui Lassaad