The "Skills to Succeed" programme in Tataouine

Since my hometown, Tataouine, belongs to the regions which have been economically marginalized over decades and suffers from the highest rates of poverty and unemployment (approx. 51% unemployment rate among graduates who lack the necessary skills and qualifications for the job market), I participated in launching a community development program named “Skills to Succeed” , a project showcased through vocational training, economic development initiatives and civil society capacity building programs aiming to boost employability and income generation through targeted training and business/economic development platforms.

While performing my duties a Social Media Executive, I spend time educating the community and issues affecting employment, women’s empowerment and sustainable development. I excel at giving educational presentations in a way that is inclusive easily understood and personal.


hey @AchrefChibani welcome in edgeryders

I come from Cairo, Egypt and unemployment is also an issue here. but 51 % is a huge rate, can you tell more about Tataouine, as a city, what do this 51 % of unemployed youth do ? also how big is the informal economy, does it fill in a percentage of this gap ? do they move to other cities ? which cities?

and how was “skills to succeed” program initiated ? by whom ? and how many youth passed the programm and got employed , can you tell more about the story of this project.

ping @khalednazmy he wanted to provide education to the less privileged may be he can learn from your experience in Tataouine.

Dear Hazem,

Thank you so much for your valuable collaboration.Please find below answers
for your questions.I look forward to hearing from you as I am really
intersted in being prt of this program.

Warm Regards,

The Governorate of Tataouine in South Tunisia is one of the country’s areas
that has been economically marginalized for decades. The high rate of
unemployment in the region (approx. 51% unemployment rate among graduates
who lack the necessary skills and qualifications for the job market) was
one of the reasons OMV initiated and funded a community development
“Skills to Succeed (STS)” was implemented between 2012 and 2017 by
Hilfswerk Austria International, one of Austria’s leading organizations for
development cooperation and humanitarian aid.
The project has been showcased through vocational training, economic
development initiatives and civil society capacity building programs aiming
to boost employability and income generation through targeted training and
business/economic development platforms.
Employment Overview:
In Tataouine, tremendous social pressure has been placed on the government
to create more jobs in the region. However, unemployment in Tataouine is
largely an issue of search frictions. It is not a lack of jobs, but rather
a mismatch between labor market entrant expectations and firm needs that
cause persistent unemployment. University Graduates expect wage and benefit
packages that are not in consort with the realities of the jobs being
created by the private sector. This lack of being able to find ‘suitable’
employment leads to long unemployment spells upon labour market entry.
Young university graduates in Tataouine have been particularly hurt by the
current deterioration in job creation in the local economy. School and work
institutions remain unconnected, implying that often the technical training
may not be closely related to the skills needed by employers. Gender
differences among young job seekers are important in the region. Young
women are less likely to be employed than men with equal educational
attainment. In 2015, among young men in Tataouine, graduates have a high
rate of unemployment (20.74%). The level of unemployment among women
graduates suggests that females are more likely to be without a job

  • A more market-oriented approach to training that allows employers to
    shape the training they need with financial support from the government is
    Major institutional changes in labor markets will be needed to increase the
    employability of young workers in Tataouine. Young university graduates
    interviewed emphasized that the new governmental program “Dignity
    Contract”, a contract that is expected to allow 1042 unemployed university
    graduates from Tataouine to be trained in companies for two years and to
    receive a monthly salary of 600 Tunisian dinars (200 dinars paid by
    companies and 400 by the State), is not an effective policy to create good
    jobs, especially for women. There is a lack in the number of
    well-structured companies able to absorb new applicants. Consequently,
    major imbalances between the number of job openings and job seekers are
    expected. In the short term improving the prospects for good jobs will
    depend on changing the existing institutional arrangements that reach a
    very small number of beneficiaries.

*Entrepreneurship Environment: *

For entrepreneurship to translate into job creation in Tataouine, creating
an environment in which entrepreneurs is a must. According to a local
survey recently conducted online by Skills to Succeed program, 88% of 200
people polled between the ages of 20 and 35 indicated a desire to create
their own start-ups. However, these startups can only thrive in an
ecosystem conducive to their needs. Developing the proper entrepreneurial
ecosystem must engage a wide range of stakeholders, including private
sector companies, government ministries, civil society and financial
institutions. The role of each actor must be assessed to determine his or
her capacity to improve the entrepreneurial environment. Furthermore, these
stakeholders must meet to discuss and debate how to increase the success
rate of entrepreneurs in Tataouine.
The challenges are not unfamiliar: access to financing, inflexible lending
policies, bureaucratic hurdles, high level of risk, inevitable time delays,
lack of mentoring and access to talent and access to markets.
Thus, the local economy has continued to suffer from structural fragilities
and weaknesses. Firstly, the economic structure of the region is highly
dependent on external revenue sources (e.g. Informal Businesses, Seasonal
Tourism, and Transfers from local citizens living abroad) which make the
economic performances highly vulnerable to external shocks and consequently
unsustainable in the long term. Secondly, while the prospects of public
sector employment have declined significantly in recent years, employment
opportunities in the formal private sector have remained limited.

Skills to Succeed achievements :

The project created a dynamic entrepreneur environment in the governorate
and in the region, which was not present before and reached a large number
of beneficiaries and successes:

  • 1.331 direct beneficiaries were engaged within Skills to Succeed
    (trained, coached) which impacted 6.655 community members considered as
    indirect beneficiaries (Factor 5 from direct to indirect beneficiaries).
  • 368 jobs created / 963 trained in different disciplines including
    pipe-welding, pipefitting, instrumentation and Desert Defensive Driving
    (DDD), build your business and other technical trainings such as hydroponic
    green barley production, arts and crafts, rabbits production, chicken
    farms, and alternative tourism etc.… in different economic sectors
    including agricultural, industrial, and services sectors.
  • A top welding laboratory at the Tataouine Vocational Training Centre
    (TVTC) in Tataouine was equipped. This enhanced the capacity of the TVTC,
    welding, and pipefitting programs are now part of the core curriculum of
    the centre.
  • 60 welders, 40 pipefitters and 38 instrumentation technicians from
    Tataouine have successfully obtained an internationally recognized
    certification from TÜV in Austria. Students are also certified in English
    from the London University College, in HSSE, in addition to coaching for
    their career and personal development.
  • STS initiated the first gypsum lab in Tataouine Vocational Training
    Center and trained 18 beneficiaries (including 5 ladies). STS has hiring
    commitments for all the trainees who will all be placed.
  • STS project invested in equipment and training at the Higher Degree
    Institute of Technological Studies (ISET) in Tataouine, and hired top five
    notch principal instrumentation trainers with more than 25 years’
    experience. This enhanced the capacity of ISET and included the
    instrumentation program in its curricula.
  • The project achieved so far 70% placement in jobs and internships for
    graduates of the Vocational Training Program.
  • Gypsum Sector potential in Tataouine was identified and a new
    gypsum-training program was installed, also at the TVTC
  • The oil and gas and other industries benefit from this effort to produce
    a quality local labor force and by using the enhanced training facilities
    for their own programs.
  • STS invested in equipment, training staff, consultants and certification
    agencies to achieve graduates placement locally and internationally and to
    ensure the sustainability of the program continuity at the local centers.
  • STS delivered trainings that meet international standards and brought
    state of the art technologies to Tataouine (The only equipped
    instrumentation laboratory on a national level).
  • A Social Enterprise was established, a trademark called “Ragma”, a group
    of local artisans producing a well-refined handmade product. Ragma
    contributes to reviving the cultural heritage of the region and gained a
    good reputation in the region and on a national level.
1 Like

Hi Achraf ,
Nice to e meeting you , I am Zmorda from Sousse Tunisia , I am an engineer and I am passionate about social innovation!
@Yosser is working on an interesting project in the south of Tunisia too ,Check her story ,we can collaborate together and share knowledge and experiences .

Is Skills to Succeed still going? What is the current status? What you describe above is impressive.

Agree with @johncoate, this is impressive! So it seems from your results that jobs can be created for young people who have the right skills in both ways: within existing markets where there is a deficit (really, STS achieved 70% job placement?), and also through entrepreneurship?

Thanks for sharing your own opinion after all this… Employment is one of those big issues everyone tries to understand…

Dear @Noemi and @johncoate,

Thank you for your interest in Skills to Succeed.Kindly note that StS is
still ongoing but now as an independent organization.This transition from a
community development project to a local organization was mainly to ensure
the sustainability of the initiative especially after the outstanding
results achieved.Feel free to ask any additional information you may need.
NB: Honestly, I am confused with the milestones of Edgeryders.I will be
grateful if you could provide me with upcoming instructions I need to