More than 50,000 clean energy jobs will be created in Morocco by 2020, with a quarter of them in the wind energy and solar power sectors, the government recently announced.

Renewable energies will account for 42% of Morocco’s electricity generation capacity by 2020, Energy Minister Amina Benkhadra said at a May 31st conference in Oujda. The government will invest 73 billion dirhams (6.4 billion euros) to install a new power output of 3,640 MW by 2015.

To meet the demands of the job market, Morocco looks to train a new generation of alternative energy experts. "We’re going to discuss the issue with the various parties concerned, including universities, in order to address our needs in terms of human resources," the minister said.

Participants in the conference signed an agreement to create a training institute for renewable energies and energy efficiency. The accord stipulates the creation of a vocational training system tailored to the needs of businesses in the clean energy sector. It also provides for financing preliminary studies, supporting technical expertise and creating training facilities.

A number of Moroccan universities started offering graduate and postgraduate courses in renewable energy in order to promote the training of skilled workers in the domain, the department of higher education said.

"For several years, the government has understood the scale of the shortage of specialised expertise," said economist Mohamed Nadiri. "Accordingly, several institutes have been created to support the country’s new economic orientation."

Young people are becoming increasingly aware of the new needs of the job market and are trying their best to choose university subjects that will stand them in good stead.

This sector is highly promising as it comprises several areas that are currently developing, said Amine, a graduate student in renewable energies and energy systems.

"I’d never thought about this industry before," he told Magharebia. "The ambitions that the government has set out since 2009 have encouraged many students to change direction. It must be said that these goals are very ambitious and will help to boost the economy and create jobs for young people. New power stations will be commissioned over the next few years."

Karim El Ouardi, a student who has passed the baccalaureate, has already chosen his path as he is planning to study subjects that will orient him towards the energy systems sector.

"My parents and my older brother advised me to do this," he said. "I’m convinced it’s right, because I couldn’t even hope to choose a sector that is in higher demand in the job market."