THAMM Programme Opened Its Second Regional Conference on Mobility Schemes Between North African And European Countries
Cairo - In close collaboration with the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the European Union Delegation to Egypt, the German Embassy in Egypt, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) opened the second regional conference of THAMM Programme (“Towards a Holistic Approach to Labour Migration Governance and Mobility in North Africa“).
Entitled “Mobility Schemes between North African and European Countries: Time to Draw Lessons and Build Future Skills Mobility Partnerships”, this Regional Conference, aims to bring together decision-makers and key stakeholders from across the two regions to reflect over key strategic and operational ingredients to strengthen labour migration and mobility partnerships. The event will gather over 250 participants, from North African countries and Europe.
During the event representatives from governments, social partners and academia from Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia as well as ILO, IOM, GIZ, ENABEL, OFII, the European Union, EU Member States, ETF, JRC, OECD and international experts will share latest policy observations and issue key recommendations regarding future talent and skills mobility partnerships.
THAMM is a 35-million-Euro international cooperation programme which started in 2019 and covers three partner countries (Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia), implemented by the ILO, IOM, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Belgian Development Cooperation Agency (ENABEL) and the Office français pour l’Immigration et l’Intégration (OFII), co-organisers of the Conference. This programme is funded under the North Africa window of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) by the European Union (EU) and co-funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
In its fourth year of implementation, THAMM implements a holistic approach to labour migration, which includes a technical dimension linked to governance frameworks, skills recognition and qualification, statistical data and information systems, as well as in terms of end beneficiaries since the programme promotes the integration of foreign workers into labour markets in North Africa and assistance to national workers seeking employment abroad in Europe. The Programme also supports pilot mobility schemes implemented by GIZ, ENABEL and OFII.
H.E. Ambassador Ehab Badawy, Assistant Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs and International Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt, stated in his introduction,"Egypt is keen to strengthen the institutional frameworks related to the qualification of young people and to building their capabilities in line with the requirements of the internal and external markets. It also guarantees the empowerment of migrants and the facilitation of their fair recruitment in a way that prevents exploitation. "He stressed that "partnership in labour mobility must be through long-term projects based on investing in training in the countries of origin, which makes its benefit more sustainable and contributes to training larger numbers of young people and qualifying them to work in the local and international market, and that the success of cooperation in the field of labour mobility cannot be achieved only by signing agreements between governments, but it also requires communication with all relevant actors to ensure that the needs of the private sector are met, as well as ensuring that migrants enjoy all guarantees of social protection.
H.E. Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, said: “The year 2023 is the European Year of ‘’SKILLS’’. The EU is committed to support legal migration and mobility, including from Egypt via talent partnerships. THAMM is a pilot project and a good example of ‘Team Europe’ approach with Germany, ILO and IOM cooperating with Egypt to better match the skills needs of the European labour market leading to a win-win situation.” Mr Holger ILLI, First Counsellor with the Embassy of Germany in Egypt, stated: “We want labour migration to have a positive development impact. The "H" in THAMM stands for Holistic, which reflects our conviction that labour migration should be managed collaboratively to get mutually beneficial results and reduce risks both for the migrants themselves and for the partner countries”.
Mr Eric Oechslin, Director, International Labour Organization, Egypt Country Office, also emphasized that “Programmes such THAMM have renewed intervention models that strengthen durably Public Employment Services and skills anticipation capacity among government institutions and social partners : The goal is to shape new generation mobility partnerships between North Africa and Europe in a manner which not only meets employers’ expectations but is protective and respectful of migrant workers’ rights and sufficiently agile to address the challenges coming with the Future of Work, particularly with regards to the greening of our economies and youth employability." Mr. Carlos Oliver Cruz Chief of Mission, IOM Egypt, stressed that: “It is crucial to work collectively on exploring the potential for future skills mobility partnerships between North Africa and Europe. The time for shifting away from the traditional one-sided schemes and working towards enhanced bilateral and multilateral agreements between states, is now.”
This regional conference is implemented through the ILO/IOM and GIZ components funded by the European Union and the BMZ with support from ENABEL and OFII.
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