Morocco’s automotive industry is on an upward trend in 2021, after experiencing a Covid-19 induced slowdown through much of 2020. According to this report in Infomédiaire Maroc, the automotive sector exports amounted to 46.49 billion dirhams for the first seven months of 2021. Now, back on an optimistic track, the automotive sector is all set to accelerate towards growth in the manufacture and export of vehicles, making it a magnet for the best talent in the country. 

The auto industry witnessed many shifts in hiring through 2020 and 2021 to accommodate the expected rapid growth. Morocco’s potential to be on the coveted list of top 15 vehicle-producing countries in the world has made its auto sector the cynosure of all eyes. Morocco is poised to reach its goal of producing 1 million vehicles per year by 2025, reports The North Africa Post in August, 2021. 

What’s more, the Moroccan government has infused the industry with support and measures to promote expansion and exports (including more FDI, removing prohibitive taxes and signing free trade agreements). Energized by this governmental support, the country is also leaning in to be a pioneer in the manufacture of electric vehicles with the aim of posing stiff competition to the current leaders, China and India. Morocco runs an auto-chip production line with this goal in mind, reports Africa Business Pages. 

All this excitement and hectic activity in the automotive industry is good news for talent search, says Samia Benchekroun, Executive Manager of Michael Page, Africa.

“Even during its slowest growth in the peak of the pandemic, R&D departments and pre-import vehicle testing departments continued to hire talent. Their project time cycles are longer compared to other departments, as they work nonstop towards a distant future. So, their work was not affected much during the pandemic.”

Locals get priority

One big change triggered by the pandemic, however, is that the auto sector is increasingly looking in its own backyard for hiring, says Benchekroun. Expat contracts are being replaced with local talent. This was bad news for the hiring sector, overall, with expats who had stayed in Morocco for as long as 3 years to even 10-11 years leaving as their contracts ended. “The positive side to this was that local talent got more opportunity,” explains Benchekroun. 

Leveling up with skills and training 

“Moroccans are strong in technical knowledge and expertise. But they need support in management and leadership, which is where the expatriate talent would typically step in. Now, more opportunities in senior management are being given to locals, which is great to hone the skills of the Moroccans,” says Benchekroun, adding that she has seen more locals being placed in senior management positions over the past year. 

An eye on senior roles 

Moroccans are in the best position to take up senior management roles. They have also proven to be capable of skillfully managing leadership responsibilities. It has opened many opportunities for Moroccans with talent. This shift also indicates the return of locals who had left the country in search of greener pastures. Some of them may need training or re-skilling to take up management roles. Here’s where the training industry needs to step up. And it has. In 2021 alone, till August, 40,000 hours of training have been imparted in the auto sector through partnership universities.  

“Hiring managers will need to re-align with the automotive industry’s demands for local talent, and go the extra mile to fulfill recruitment needs,” says Benchekroun.

The roles most in demand are Production Control & Logistics Manager, R&D Engineers, Quality Engineers, Plant Managers and Procurement Managers. Note that these are senior roles, the likes of which our Page Executive and Michael Page teams have been actively working with clients to fill over the past year. 

It is an exciting turn in recruitment, indeed, with potential for many great opportunities for the Moroccan economy. Learn more about our recruitment services and connect with us so our consultants can support you with hiring top talent in Morocco. 

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