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USAID initiative promises to train 6,000 job seekers

AMMAN — A total of 6,000 young jobseekers will receive specialised training in skills matching labour market needs through USAID’s new “Training for Employment” programme, the agency announced on Wednesday.
 
The agency has partnered with the Luminus Technical University College, Jordan Education for Employment and the Technical Vocational Training Academy to implement the new programme, which USAID said would provide 80 per cent of trainees with secure jobs.
 
The announcement came during a fair held by USAID at Al Hussein Sports City. Jordanian and Syrian youth aged 16-35 gathered at the fair to learn more about the different training opportunities.
 
Running through Friday, it also showcases pilot training organisations that have recently partnered with USAID to provide vocational and technical training programmes to fill in-demand jobs.
 
Programmes like the Vocational Training Corporation train young people in restaurant jobs to later give them a six-month on the job training course at the Americana Group, representative of the “Youth with Potential” initiative Hala Khreis told The Jordan Times at the fair.
 
In addition to opportunities in the hospitality sector, the fair also offered training for food processing, air conditioning, refrigeration, electricity, mechanics, sewing, embroidery and teacher training.
 
“I earned a Bachelors in English over a year ago, but I haven’t been able to find employment so far,” 23-year-old attendee Manal Khouri told The Jordan Times, expressing interest in the sewing and embroidery training opportunities.
 
“I have been drawing my own dress designs since I was a teenager and I have been told I am talented, but I have never known how to actually turn the designs into real clothes,” Khouri said.
 
“Maybe training in this sector could help me make a job out of my hobby if things keep on not working out with my degree,” Khouri added.
 
In a statement issued earlier this year, the Jordan Labour Watch warned of a “mismatch” between the qualifications of graduates and the skills that employers are demanding, stressing that “this, coupled with the huge amount of expatriates populating the low-profile jobs, is the root of the unemployment issue in Jordan”.
 
“Harmonising educational outputs with the needs of the labour market is the best solution to the challenges facing our economy,” Labour Minister Samir Murad said during the fair’s launch, noting that “the needs of the labour market today are way different from those of just a few years ago, and they will continue to evolve with technological developments”.
 
Murad also introduced the ministry’s National Framework for Empowerment and Employment during the fair, which aims to employ some 60,000 job seekers between 2019 and 2020.
 
US embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Jim Barnhart, expressed his belief that “when youth are employed and engaged, they can drive economic growth and lead their country to prosperity”, stressing US efforts to equip Jordanian and Syrian youth with the abilities they need to match the current vacancies in the Kingdom’s labour market.
 
“For more than 60 years, the US has partnered with Jordan and supported the Kingdom in achieving and maintaining stability,” the official continued, adding that “at this economic inflection point — and with one third of all jobseekers below the age of 30, I am proud to see the US and the Jordanian government working together to help youth realise their potential”.