The HOMERe project promotes internship mobility between Mediterranean countries, and is predominantly aimed at high-profile students in their last year of study before graduation. The objective is to ease their transition from the academic environment to qualified entry-level roles in their own country – in a region where youth unemployment often increases with the level of education.
HOMERe uses internship mobility as a tool to combat the skills gap that has been identified as one of the region’s main obstacles when it comes to hiring young people. Despite their solid academic backgrounds, graduates often do not have the soft skills that potential employers are looking for, such as teamwork, problem-solving, leadership, etc.. According to World Bank data, 40 per cent of employers in the formal private sector in the Middle East and North Africa cite the skills gap as a major hindrance to business operations and stable growth. HOMERe internships last, on average, for six months and are intended to be structured with pre-determined tasks and responsibilities.
Through its extended network of high-level academic institutions on both sides of the Mediterranean (engineering and management schools as well as universities), HOMERe hopes to attract transnational private companies that operate in the Mediterranean region and are searching for brilliant colleagues. The programme provides help in the identification, preparation and mentoring of appropriately qualified students, while the host companies commit to allocating a tutor to their interns and to pay them a nominal monthly allowance.
But by far the most innovative aspect of the project is that participating companies must consider employment opportunities in the intern’s country of origin after the successful completion of the internship (local branch, subsidiary, provider, etc.).
As part of a two-year pilot phase (2015-2017), the project will be implemented in nine Mediterranean countries: Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Spain, Morocco and Tunisia.
The project consortium includes a mix of academic and economic organisations.
HOMERe is promoted by the Mediterranean Network of Engineering and Management Schools (RMEI), a network of 95 universities delivering master’s degrees in 16 Mediterranean countries. It aims to enhance the quality of higher education in engineering and management in the Mediterranean area as well as mobilise the competencies and resources of its members with the aim of working together towards sustainable development.
HOMERe is actively supported by: Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), Association Marocaine des Exportateurs (ASMEX), Association des Ingénieurs Francophones en Egypte (AIFE), Algerian Talents and Leaders Association (ATLAS), Union of Mediterranean Confederations of Enterprises (BUSINESSMED), Campus France, Réseau des Conseillers du Commerce Extérieur Français (CCEF), Club des entrepreneurs et industriels de la Mitidja (CEIMI), Consiglio Nazionale degli Ingegneri (CNI), Office of Economic Cooperation for the Mediterranean and the East (OCEMO), Ordre des Ingénieurs Tunisiens (OIT), Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA), Unione delle Università del Mediterraneo (UNIMED), Union Tunisienne de l’Industrie, du Commerce et de l’Artisanat (UTICA).