NewsNorth AfricaEngineering attracts top Moroccan graduates


Posted on Monday, 27 August 2012 09:32

Engineering attracts top Moroccan graduates

By Idri Zebboudj

The hard work will pay off for students at Morocco’s top engineering schools, with many jobs on offer in the construction sector/Photo/HASSAN OUAZZANI FOR J.A.With a construction boom in housing, motorways, railways, ports and hotels, Morocco is a huge building site in need of both manpower and engineering brains.

Civil engineering is an attractive choice among Morocco's best students. In 2010, there were 9,393 graduates in engineering, manufacturing and construction, up from 2,829 in 2005, according to UNESCO.

Of the top 100 engineering students who passed the national engineering entrance exam in 2011-12, 86 chose the École Hassania des Travaux Publics (EHTP) in Casablanca.

"It's a school built for the sector," said Mostafa Meftah, president of the Fédération Nationale du Bâtiment et des Travaux Publics (FNBTP).

3x more engineering, manufacturing and construction graduates in 2010 than in 2005

EHTP, which is under the aegis of the ministry of equipment, has diversified since its creation in 1971 and now offers courses in hydraulic engineering and meteorology. But it's civil engineering that still attracts the majority of the school's 300 students each year.

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Another sought-after school is the École Mohammadia d'Ingénieurs (EMI), located in Rabat. "EMI has a doctoral centre, with nearly 400 students studying for PhDs in different engineering sectors," explains Professor Driss Bouami, its director.

Most of the country's construction companies recruit from these two schools. The FNBTP, which sits on the EHTP's administrative council, builds strong relationships with the future engineers; company chief executives of companies in the Federation meet the new students each year.

"The employment rate is 100% three months after graduation," says Azeddine Ismaïl, EHTP director of studies. Foreign construction companies "don't think twice about headhunting Moroccan engineers because of the European crisis and the opening of the local market", says Meftah.

An experienced engineer can earn a monthly salary of 80,000 dirhams ($9,000).

In the meantime, other African countries have skills gaps in the sector. While UNESCO recommends a minimum ratio of one engineer for every 2,000 people, Kenya has just 6,330 in a population of 40m – just one engineer per 6,500 people●

Last Updated on Monday, 27 August 2012 10:57

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