German–Tunisian Mobility Pact

  • Country of destination: Germany
  • Country of origin: Tunisia
  • Sectors: Construction, Engineering, and Manufacturing
  • Skill level: High
  • Timeline: August 2014 - June 2016
  • Number of beneficiaries: 150


Building on an earlier pilot program, Germany brought highly skilled Tunisian engineering graduates to Germany, to fill skill shortages at small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).

Why was it started?

Tunisia has experienced slow economic development and high unemployment since its revolution, in 2011. At the same time, SMEs in Germany have been desperately short of skilled personnel in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professions. This program aimed to address both needs by putting young Tunisian engineers in touch with German companies. The need for enhanced labor mobility between the two countries was couched within broader frameworks requiring close cooperation on asylum processing and responsible management of migratory flows across the Mediterranean.

On behalf of the Federal Foreign Office, the German Development Agency (GIZ) implemented a first project “Promoting Legal Mobility among Highly Qualified Tunisian Experts” in 2012–13. This project built on the experience of the first project.

How does it work?

The Tunisian employment agency (ANETI) and the German Federal Employment Agency (BA/ZAV) selected 150 participants to receive six months of intensive German training (up to level B1) at the Goethe Institute in Tunis. Following this training, 101 Tunisian engineers began three-month internships in Germany.

What impact has it had?

Demand for the program was very strong. German employers involved in the program expressed their satisfaction with the qualifications of Tunisian candidates and the set-up of the program. Among participants, 73 percent ended up being hired by the firm at which they had interned and 27 percent returned to Tunisia after the internships. Many of the engineers who returned were able to find employment with German businesses operating in Tunisia. Evaluations showed that employers were satisfied with the program.

Tunisia is now a beneficiary of other GIZ interventions, including “Triple Win” and “Towards a Holistic Approach to Labour Migration Governance and Labour Mobility in North Africa (THAMM).”