This Situational Analysis has been prepared to inform UNESCO about the feasibility of developing systematic quantitative skills forecasts as part of the aim to improve capacity in the NET-MED Youth countries for thinking about the possible futures they face. It draws upon a set of Positional Papers prepared by eight National Consultants from each of the countries involved. These have been used to prepare the eight individual Country Appendices presented in this report.
Networks of Mediterranean Youth (NET MED Youth) is a 3 year long programme being implemented by UNESCO and funded by the European Union. NET MED Youth aims to mainstream youth issues and priorities in 10 European Neibourhood Policy (ENP) South countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia). Specifically, the Employment component of the programme is intended to provide youth organizations and other national stakeholders with key findings and analysis on economic, institutional and policy contexts regarding the transition to the labour market for young people, including key policy recommendations on future skills needed by the labour market at short and middle term and related national capacity development.
As well as the Positional Papers the authors of the Situational Analysis Report have also benefited from detailed exchanges with the authors of those papers, including a 2 day Workshop held at UNESCO offices in Paris on November 5th-6th 2014.
Findings - Potential for forecasting model development
In most NET MED Youth countries the basic data requirements to undertake and quantitative assessment of the labour market and future skill needs (as set out above) seem to be met, although there are often problems.
The main problems and limitations relate to:
- Problems in establishing a stable picture of likely future developments, given the political and other uncertainties faced by this particular group of countries;
- The significance of the informal economy which makes accurate measurement of the overall scale and structure of employment difficult, as well as complicating the modelling process;
- The significance of international flows of remittances to support the economies of many of the countries;
- The general lack of well-established macro-economic models on which to build projections (albeit with some exceptions, such as Jordan);
- The lack of a focus in the modelling and forecasting work on the youth labour market, which is a prime consideration in the NET MED Youth project;
- Access to relevant data to build relevant quantitative models, especially data at a more detailed level which limits what can be done in terms of skills forecasts.