Physical centers are limited in their reach and ability to scale. We believe that access to employability resources and information is a right of every youth in the Arab world – and that technology can help us provide this access directly and in a cost effective manner. We have therefore partnered with major IT and telecom players such as Microsoft and the Ooredoo Group to create large scale web and mobile portals designed to support youth employment.
In April 2012, Silatech and Microsoft launched Ta3mal.com, the region’s first employability portal linking youth to career guidance, training, eLearning, work readiness and internship and job opportunities. Originating in Egypt as Masrworks.com, Ta3mal.com now has specialized country portals developed for Egypt, Qatar, Iraq, and Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, with plans underway for Palestine and Jordan.
While online penetration is high in the GCC, ITU indicators show that less than 30% of Arabs in non GCC countries are online. However, with over 70% mobile penetration, the most basic GSM phone has become our most inclusive entry point. Our first mobile portal – Najja7ni, was launched in March 2013 in Tunisia, and the model is being extended across the region.
One key service provided by career centers and portals is personalized guidance through our Tamheed platform, developed in partnership with UK based Mindmill. Through our pilot programs in 2009-2010, we discovered four main challenges to providing large scale access to quality career guidance for youth across the region: personalization of advice, availability of trained counselors (advisors), sustainability, and quality.
First launched in 2011, Tamheed is Silatech’s career guidance program; it includes online psychometric and language assessments, a career advising framework, and training and capacity building for career advisors. Youth workers can be trained to become Tamheed advisors in less than a week, creating a large pool of certified advisors offering personalized advice based on scientific reports.
Since its launch, Tamheed has been used by tens of thousands of young people across Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Tunisia and Qatar. A range of activities are now under way to expand Tamheed both in scale and in the depth of support it provides youth and advisors.
Tamheed advising sessions help young people become aware of their own potential and interests. However, they often still need skills, experience, guidance and networks to transform this vision into a reality.
Our skills development initiatives are designed to empower youth as they develop the technical and soft-skills needed for employment. Like career guidance, skill development interventions are offered through career centers, vocational colleges or virtual employability portals. We support Youth Serving Organizations (YSOs) with curricula and capacity building in a range of workplace-relevant soft- skills, and offer direct eLearning for workforce development skills to youth through the Ta3mal portal.
The gap between education and employment cannot be bridged without real work experience. There is high correlation between work experience provision and placement success across workforce development initiatives; however, access to work experience opportunities remains a challenge for most youth.
This is a key strategic priority for Silatech. We have developed tools and resources to help employers understand the value that interns can bring to the workplace, and are helping employers to structure meaningful, learning-oriented internship opportunities. We then link youth to these opportunities, and help to monitor their learning throughout. We are also developing a mode of virtual work experience, where companies can offer projects on virtual marketplaces that youth can complete for work experience. These are particularly relevant to youth living in areas with limited physical opportunities, helping them to develop skills that they can apply to ongoing freelance virtual work opportunities.
Tamheed Career Guidance Program
Launched in partnership with UK-based Mindmill in 2011, Tamheed delivers quality career advice and placement support services. It provides youth-serving organizations (YSOs) with a complete toolkit for setting up a sustainable career advising practice. This includes highly predictive and user-friendly psychometric assessments delivered online in Arabic, English and French, the results of which can be used for both advice guidance and screening.
Tamheed career guidance services are provided in an extensive network of physical career centers found throughout the region, as well as online. Tamheed is a core component of the support we provide to Career and Job Placement Centers, and is complimented by capacity building in areas of soft-skills training, internships and job placement. Tamheed career guidance is integrated into Silatech’s and Microsoft's online employability portals (ta3mal.com). Tamheed’s psychometric assessments are also used by employers and training institutions to support the screening and selection of candidates, helping match candidates with the best-fit opportunities.
Countries: Qatar, Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Regional
Ta3mal Youth Employability Portal
The region's first employability portal, Ta3mal helps Arab youth and job seekers find support to transition into the world of work. Ta3mal is available in Arabic, English and French, and provides resources ranging from entry level job and internship opportunities, online career guidance and e-learning, to employability and entrepreneurship training. Silatech and Microsoft are co-partners in establishing the Ta3mal network, while local partners provide specialized content and access to services appropriate for selected countries. Specialized country portals are currently available in Egypt, Qatar, Palestine, Tunisia, Iraq, Algeria and Morocco, with additional countries coming on line in the future.
Countries: Regional, Egypt, Qatar, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco
MobiWorks is a mobile portal that connects young people without Internet access to employability resources, financial inclusion and job opportunities via a basic GSM mobile phone. Offered in regional partnership with Ooredoo, the portal aggregates opportunities from various youth serving organizations and enables young people to connect with them. The service is currently available in Tunisia as “Najja7ni.”
Anapec Capacity Building
Silatech is helping Morocco's public sector employment agency, Anapec, provide unemployed Moroccan youth with training and job opportunities. Through its Tamheed career guidance initiative, Silatech has helped Anapec develop screening processes for candidates and provided tools and training for language, psychometric and aptitude assessments.
Beginning in 2010, Silatech has partnered with the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism to provide job and life skills training to youth from disadvantaged communities, followed by placement in jobs within Morocco’s hospitality sector.
Youth Economic Empowerment Program (YEEP)
Silatech signed in June 2014 as a strategic partner with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Yemen in the YEEP program, which will provide thousands of Yemeni youth with employment in public works programs, leading from there to job and skills training, career guidance, entrepreneurship assistance and job placement. YEEP has been designed to align closely with Yemen's National Youth Employment Plan 2014-2016. Silatech is providing financing and technical assistance for the project.