This project aims to improve youth unemployment and underemployment rates in Tunisia through the use of a customized package consisting of vocational training services, education and job counselling.
As in many developing countries, unemployment and underemployment are two major issues among the youth in Tunisia. A lack of economic, social and political opportunities manifested in over 30 percent youth unemployment is seen to be the reason for the revolution in 2011.
The Ministry of Vocational Training started the “Accompagnement” employment scheme to help Tunisians find jobs through a customized programme. As one of the few rigorously pilot-tested active labor market policies in the region, this study has relevance for the reduction of unemployment and improvement of well being.
Does a customized programme such as ‘’Accompagnement’’ positively affect labour market outcomes for participants?
How does the programme affect socio-psychological wellbeing and social networks?
This study evaluates Tunisia’s four-phase, “Acccompagnement” programme, which aims to improve youth employability through increased job opportunities, vocational training and job-search counselling. The study assesses the programme based on (i) programme uptake and completion, (ii) employment outcomes (iii) socio-psychological well-being (iv) change in participants’ social networks.
Theory of change
There are several channels through which job placement and job search assistance programs may have an impact on individuals (Card et al., 2010). In order to generate impactful change, it is important to have well-informed beneficiaries that believe they can excel using the technologies they are provided. Researchers posit that the program will yield high participation, and are confident in their capacity to successfully implement the program for each participant. The programme seeks to provide (i) counselling to help jobseekers assess their own competences, professional interests and need for additional training; (ii) mentoring to facilitate transmission of information on how to find relevant jobs and coaching to increase the intensity of job-search; (iii) vocational training including modules on communication, presentation, c.v./application; (iv) administrative support and follow-ups and (v) match-making events with potential employers. These activities are expected to encourage a workforce that is: (a) better informed about labor market conditions (e.g. average returns to human capital investments and demand for specific jobs) (b) more efficient at searching for jobs (c) more motivated to search for jobs (d) better matches with firms or organizations with jobs available, and (e) motivated to set up their own business.
This study uses a quasi-experimental design method using Difference-in-Difference estimation and Propensity Score Matching. Using a sample size of 2,400 participants and 60 employment offices, the study employs a probit/logit regression model to predict the propensity scores of the control group. The control group is selected from treated and untreated areas and then randomly selected from the range of common support to have two comparable treatment and control groups on the basis of age, education, gender and experience.
Baseline and endline surveys are conducted 12 months apart and difference-in-difference estimations are used to estimate the impact of the programme.