Rabat – In his speech for Revolution Day, King Mohammed VI encouraged Moroccan youth not to discount vocational training. The King recommended vocational training as a means to reduce the unemployment rate and social disparities, particularly in rural areas. The King recalled that Morocco has already put in place a national program to reduce social disparities with a budget of MAD 50 billion for the period 2016-2022.The program seeks to improve access to education, vocational training opportunities and social welfare programs in rural areas of the kingdom. The King also emphasized the importance of reinforcing the agricultural sector. He also drew attention to the need for development of rural tourism, commerce, and local industry to bo boost self-employment.The King insisted that a focus on vocational training approach could serve as a concrete solution to reduce unemployment among youth, not only in rural areas, but also in urban areas.Morocco’s government has been facing pressure due to unemployment rate. The low rate of employment has more severely affected rural areas due to the lack of job creation.The High Commission for Planning (HCP) said in a report earlier this month that cities created fewer job opportunities in the second quarter of 2019. Morocco’s national economy created 7,000 job opportunities in this period compared to 117,000 jobs created a year ago.HCP finds that the unemployment rate stood at 8.5% in the second quarter of 209, compared with 9.1% a year earlier.“The number of unemployed people has declined from 1,103,000 to 1,026,000, following a drop of 77,000 in unemployed people,” the HCP said. The unemployment rate in urban areas declined from 13.7% to 12.4%. The rate of unemployment, however, rose in rural areas by 3.3% (+3%).Battle unemployment with vocational trainingTo tackle unemployment, especially in rural areas, the King encouraged Moroccan youth to turn to vocational training. King Mohammed VI argues that vocational training will help to raise the rate of employment through the integration of Moroccan youth into the job market. . The King said that “Passing the baccalaureate exam and going to university is not a privilege; it is just a phase in the education process.”Read Also: Oxford: Vocational Training, Industries to Increase Morocco’s EconomyHe explained that receiving vocational training would open opportunities for professional integration and social stability.In 2018 and 2019, the sovereign chaired several meetings to urge the government to find concrete solutions to unemployment through vocational training.In today’s speech, the King said that he will continue to emphasize the importance of vocational training and manual labor role in achieving the integration of young people.The government has recently shared positive statistics, echoing King Mohammed VI’s argument on the efficiency of vocational training to curb unemployment.In December 2018, secretary of state for higher education Khalid Samadi said that people who gain qualifications from vocational training schools are more likely to find jobs.Samadi said that a research report by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training found that 63 % of students with vocational qualifications find jobs within nine months of graduation. The official said that the study sampled 20,000 students.For the King, fields such as handicrafts could be a source of “income and a means for a dignified life for the people involved in it.”The King also said that tourism and agriculture as well as agri-business related occupations help to increase employment.“Promoting vocational training is now an urgent necessity, not just to create employment opportunities, but also to enable Morocco to meet the challenge of economic competitiveness and keep abreast of global developments in various fields,” the monarch said.Between 2015 and 2018 Morocco opened 27 training centers across Morocco, Minister of Education Said Amzazi announced in January. The minister added that the number of scholarships granted to vocational trainees increased by 177% between 2018 and 2019. He also believes that the quality of vocational training in Morocco is improving.