2011: Implementation of the Amal Programme
The Amal Programme (“amal” meaning “hope” in Arabic) is an active labour market programme created in the context of the Tunisian revolution and increased popular pressure on the transitional government. It was estbalished to respond to the high unemployment rates, particularly among university graduates (30.5% in 2011 according to the National Institute of Statistics [INS]). The Amal programme targets first-time job seekers and aims at facilitating the transition from school/university to the labour market. The creation of internships constitutes its main asset. It provides health insurance coverage and a monthly allowance of 200 Tunisian dinars (around 67 USD) for a maximum period of 12 months to a limited number of graduates (160,000 in total). The Amal programme was brought to an end by decree No. 2012-2369 on 16 October 2012. However, after the programme’s conclusion, trade unions (and particularly the UGTT) continued pressuring the transitional government to create an Unemployment Benefit Allowance. In August 2013, the Amal programme was reformed and transformed into an “Employment encouragement programme” that granted monthly stipends to eligible candidates. However, this stipend only lasted a few months before the programme was cancelled.