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Tunisia, Libya join forces to create jobs

By Monia Ghanmi for Magharebia in Tunis – 08/03/12

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Tunisia and Libya recently agreed to strengthen bilateral co-operation in the field of employment and vocational training.

A memorandum of understanding was signed last week by Tunisian Vocational Training and Employment Minister Abdelwahab Maâter and his Libyan counterpart, Mustafa Ali Rajabani, in which both parties committed to facilitating and simplifying procedures for the assignment and transfer of Tunisian workers to Libya.

During a joint February 29th press conference, Maâter said a committee of Tunisian experts would be set up and head for Libya in order to identify the country's labour needs.

The Tunisian minister said that the agreement will enter into force during the next few days, pointing out that it included measures to ensure Libya benefits from Tunisia's human resources in its reconstruction programmes. Both skilled and unskilled Tunisian labourers will be sent to Libya, according to Maâter.

With nearly 800,000 unemployed individuals, Tunisia is hoping the reconstruction of Libya will create desperately needed job opportunities.

The new bilateral agreement also links both countries' labour ministries electronically. A database will be compiled and updated periodically to include lists of Tunisian candidates based on sectors of activity and data related to the needs of the labour market in Libya.

But the pact goes beyond offering employment opportunities to Tunisians. Tunisia will provide vocational training to Libyans through centres in Tunisia in the various disciplines. Certificates awarded to the trainees will be recognised in both countries.

Libya is trying to help Tunisians – who embraced the Libyan people and stood by their side during the revolution – to overcome the major economic difficulties experienced by the country, especially youth unemployment.

Rajabani, the Libyan labour minister, stressed that Libya would give priority throughout the various stages of reconstruction to Tunisian workers. The Libyan official urged the government, people, and Tunisian businessmen to head immediately to Libya to identify opportunities and undertake their share of available work and jobs.

The minister asked Tunisian businessmen to provide investment insights for the advancement of the Libyan economy as soon as possible while downplaying allegations of insecurity.

"The fears expressed by some in relation to the instability of the security situation in Libya are totally baseless," he said.

Iheb Meftah, a reporter for Radio February, reiterated the same idea to Magharebia, noting that "most of the Libyan cities, especially in the east, are quiet and peaceful, except for some tension and unrest experienced from time to time by a few cities in the west, over which the interim government does not yet have full control, due to the presence of some militias there."

Commenting on the prospects of Tunisian-Libyan labour co-operation, Meftah said that the Tunisian workforce will have priority in Libya, owing to its good reputation, as well as the Tunisian support of Libyans rebels and the displaced during the revolution. He also noted the lack of a visa requirement for Tunisians entering Libya.

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    ras le bole 2012-3-24

    There is too much greed and incompetence on their record of calamities. It is pointless to say more. They want all the power for their interests, not to resolve the problems.


  2. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2012-3-21

    To Aouimous- That is a great idea. I am up for it.


  3. Anonymous thumb

    aouimous 2012-3-12

    I propose designating the anonymous in the governments of both countries to resolve the unemployment problem.


  4. Anonymous thumb

    طارق الترهوني 2012-3-11

    I personally haven’t understood this odd and weird piece of news. Will Tunisia for example provide job openings for Libyan young people?? This is impossible because there are so many unemployed young people in Tunisia who throw themselves every day to the sea hoping to reach the other shore in Europe looking for opportunities for a better life. But if the meaning is that Libya will provide job opportunities for Tunisians, this is nonsense. (Goha deserves more the meat of his ox). This is because there are so many unemployed young people in Libya and they deserve more than anyone else jobs. This is a meaningless piece of news!


  5. Anonymous thumb

    عبد المنعم 2012-3-10

    Certificates awarded to the trainees will be recognised in both countries. Is it considered one of the clauses of the five freedoms and indirect way to the Maghreb union.


  6. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2012-3-9

    In 2009, 21% of the 6.5 million Libyans were unemployed. That makes almost 1.4 million people. This number had to increase after the revolution and must have reached a minimum of 1.6 million. Tunisia has 800,000 unemployed persons. Is it logical that a country that has twice as many unemployed people as its neighbours would go to its neighbour’s to get its unemployed people? Why does Libya not get its own people working? They tell us that Tunisia is going to offer professional training to the Libyans. Why not to its unemployed people? These absurdities demonstrate that the two countries involved do not have the intention of seriously resolving the problem. This also goes for the other countries of the Maghreb. Before the revolutions, the dictatorial systems produced unemployed people by using red tape to prevent people from participating in economic activity. This activity was the monopoly of the ruling class, which did not want competition but needed a large reserve of unemployed people, from where they could draw docile and cheap labourers. The new leaders are not seriously interested in resolving the problem because this would require a change in mentality. The Libyans want foreigners to pick up their garbage and the Tunisians prefer to collect other people’s garbage in order to earn more money. In an article from March 7th, your correspondent cited an young unemployed Tunisian, who said that young people refuse unstable jobs and internships and contracts. He added that, “We will be patient until the state ensures us permanent jobs.” This mentality was developed by the dictatorship. People have gotten into the habit of relying on the state. The leaders do not have the courage to explain that everything has changed because they are afraid of the opposition, which is always ready to stir up anger against the government.


  7. Anonymous thumb

    moncef 2012-3-9

    It is my belief that the Libyan and the Tunisian are of close and commen objectives to build a free and prosperous future. Both nations deserve what they fought for and hope their dreams will come true. ENSHALLAH.