On 17 May 2022, CLUSTER, represented by the Managing Director of the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), Mr Roger Albinyana, and Programme Manager, Ms Karina Melkonian, participated in the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministerial Policy Conference "Employment and employability of the most vulnerable, especially among youth and women". Held at the Palais des Congrès in Marrakech, Morocco, this event was hosted by H.E. Mr Younes Sekkouri, Minister of Economic Inclusion, Small Enterprises, Employment and Skills of the Kingdom of Morocco, and co-chaired by H.E. Mr Nicolas Schmit, EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, and H.E. Mr Nayef Stetieh, Minister of Labour of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in the presence of H.E. Mr Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the UfM.
The goal of this initiative was to discuss the most pressing labour market challenges in the Mediterranean region, in particular how to ensure an inclusive, green, digital and sustainable recovery for all and particularly the most vulnerable.
On this occasion, Mr Albinyana set the scene for the Session on "A Sustainable Recovery - Creation of more decent jobs", moderated by Ms Rania Bikhazi, Director of the International Labour Organisation Regional Office for Algeria, Libya, Morocco Mauritania and Tunisia. Mr Albinyana talked about CLUSTER initiatives against the background of unemployment and precarity which affects particularly vulnerable groups in the region, severely hit by lockdowns and business closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More specifically, CLUSTER adopts an integrated approach targeting not only youth and women, equipping them with marketable skills, but also employers in the private sector, connecting them with training institutions and other social economy actors. Moreover, CLUSTER engages with public institutions and policy-makers to encourage the implementation of youth/women employment schemes in the region.
"CLUSTER is a combination of evolutionary and revolutionary approaches, as it capitalizes on successful practices of other projects and applies this model in the new COVID-19 socio-economic context." Mr Roger Albinyana, IEMed’s Managing Director
The UfM Ministerial Policy Conference offered a space for dialogue on the most pressing socio-economic challenges characterising the Mediterranean region, with the aim to promote an economy that works for young people and women, and shaping the Mediterranean agenda for the years to come. Pushing for strong policies in support of young people accessing job markets, providing them with the skills they need to support the green transition, remains a crucial objective, and CLUSTER will keep moving towards it.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.