Seasonal workers: How to strengthen their financial inclusion back in Morocco

Circular migration is one of the best-known safe and regular forms of mobilization in Morocco, and particularly concerns Moroccan seasonal workers in Spain. This regular back and forth movement can sometimes generate certain deficits at several levels and for this, the Policy Center for the New South has drawn up a set of recommendations to remedy these problems.

The work presented by the Policy Center for the New South and led by Aomar Ibourk, Karim El Aynaoui and Tayeb Ghazi through the policy paper entitled “Circular migration and intermediation: lessons learned from the experience of Moroccan seasonal workers in Spain”, is particularly interested in the issue of support and reintegration of Moroccan seasonal workers in Spain.

It sheds light on the existence of a number of challenges that they encounter, including financial inclusion, support in terms of strengthening employability, support in terms of financial literacy, support in terms of creation and post-creation, income-generating activities, and support for women beneficiaries to form groups, cooperatives or associations.

The policy paper stresses in particular the importance of comprehensive reintegration measures, namely “preparation to consider possibilities after migration, vocational guidance and training with integrated measures within the framework of labor agreements, cooperation and partnership, between countries of origin and those of destination, certification, portability and recognition of skills”, in addition to the remedy “strong evidence generated by registers and returnee profile surveys” which help to align the objectives of programming and services related to the return to the host country and the reintegration of workers.

According to the document, the evolution of the number of Moroccan seasonal workers in Spain has gone through different episodes. The first program started with 5,000 women in the early 2000s and increased to 17,000 recruited in 2009. On the other hand, the number fell significantly after the advent of the economic crisis in Europe and reached only 2,000 workers Moroccan. However, the return continued from 2017 thus noting 15,000 beneficiaries before its new fall during the period of the pandemic.

IOM reported that the last period of seasonal migration may have contributed to a “greater economic empowerment of female beneficiaries”, indicating that nearly half receive between 1,000 and 1,500 euros per month and 95% are satisfied with their salary. The same study reveals that the majority return to Morocco with an amount of 25,000 dirhams or more and that 97% of beneficiaries feel “more confident, sure of themselves, free and emancipated, from a professional point of view”.

For the drafters of the policy paper, this gain in confidence, assurance and awareness push the women beneficiaries to consider prospecting for new horizons. Hence the need for adequate support, especially since this is a category of poorly educated women from often fragile rural areas.“.

They emphasize the need for support since this is an important step, especially since these women are only recruited for a fixed period.

It should be noted that 51% of women beneficiaries express the need to learn how to better manage and make this money profitable.“, they specify, adding that this step could improve the migratory experience and the professional situation since 58% of seasonal workers want to be trained in setting up small and medium-sized businesses.

Furthermore, the document states that ANAPEC works in this direction by offering support for the return phase for the benefit of the project-carrying category.

Thus, the recommendations of Policy Center for the New South can be summed up in the promotion of the use of the skills, aptitudes and resources acquired throughout the migration cycle, the vocational orientation and training of these women before emigration in order to better prepare them for reintegration into the labor market or the creation of small businesses once returned to Morocco and cooperation and coordination between host and destination countries.

Also added thea certification, portability and recognition of skills given that almost all female seasonal workers are low-skilled but nevertheless acquire new professional and social skills by working abroad, then the programming and services relating to the return and reintegration.

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