WORKPLACE TRAINING IN MOROCCO: PLEADING THE CASE FOR A TRAINING INVESTMENT ACT
Al Akhawayn University (MOROCCO)
Workplace training in Morocco, like elsewhere, constitutes a true challenge due to requirements in areas of productivity, competitiveness, workers employability and in building a knowledge-based society. These requirements continue to gain momentum due to global transformations in the environment where Moroccan organizations evolve. In fact, agreements of free trade and the dynamics of globalization have demanded that Morocco revisit the purposes of its training system. Consequently, the importance of training and education has increased and has been established as a national priority (Hassi, 2011). Nonetheless, training practices and structures still remain insufficient. In fact, current institutional support, based on sector analysis and immediate organizational needs, does not seem to contribute to the long-term development of a sustainable human capital. Additionally, in spite of various initiatives implemented in this field, training continues to face enormous challenges (Hassi, 2011). To take up the latter, we contend that a training culture should be established in the Moroccan context with the cooperation of all social partners concerned with workplace training and through the promulgation of a training act designed to be the driving force in leading to the establishment of a training culture. As such, the emphasis will be placed on employee qualifications and lifelong learning in hopes of developing a highly qualified and skilled workforce, to contribute in building competitive organizations, and ultimately, to advance towards a training-oriented society. To do so, it is in the interest of Morocco that public and private organizations be subjugated to a training act for better management of training activities. In this respect, we propose that private and public organizations, whose annual wage bill exceeds MDH 500,000 be required to invest 2% of their wage bill in training their employees. This fund could also assist in financing research activities. Moreover, managing this fund will need a specialized and independent organizational structure to achieve effective and efficient results. In our view, the training act constitutes a mechanism likely to contribute to the establishment of a training culture. This act does not constitute an end in itself; it is rather a mechanism which would facilitate optimal cooperation among the actors involved regarding workplace training. On another note, the existing vocational training tax, which finances mainly initial training, does not seem advantageous to current workers who do not adequately benefit from it despite the fact that they contribute to it. As a final thought, it is true that establishing a training culture is by no means an effortless task, even with the adoption of an act; nevertheless, the latter has the advantage of organizing efforts and enhancing cooperation of all actors to prepare adequate conditions for the emergence and perpetuation of a training culture. The latter constitutes an unavoidable prerequisite for the creation of a training and knowledge-based society. The training act should not be perceived as a fastidious regulation, but rather as a first step towards the establishment of a training system whose functions will never be replaced by regular educational institutions.