Increased employment in Jordan

Project description

Project title: Employment promotion in Jordan
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Jordan
Lead executing agency: Jordanian Ministry of Labour
Overall term: 2016 to 2020


Many jobseekers in Jordan are unable to find a job, with the average unemployment rate at around 14 per cent. Those who are in employment often have jobs that are not commensurate with their skills level or that only offer an insecure income. Women and young people are particularly badly affected. At the same time, there are not enough skilled workers, especially in manual and technical trades. Training often focuses more on theory than practice and is therefore not geared towards the needs of businesses. Working in private companies, meanwhile, is considered less attractive than having a job in the public sector, which is seen as offering greater security for doing the same type of work. There is a lack of available training (for example, advanced practical courses) that would make it easier to get people into jobs.

The steady increase in the number of refugees represents an additional challenge. Up to 90 per cent of Syrian refugees (of whom there are officially 650,000) are being hosted in Jordanian municipalities. In future this may lead to more conflicts over the distribution of resources, to the indigenous population being squeezed out of the labour market and to even more growth in informal employment. What is more, only around 15 per cent of working-age women are available to work.

Jordan has so far been unable to take advantage of the potential of its skilled workers to drive the country’s development, particularly young women with a high level of training.


At least 4,000 people find employment or take up self-employment after participating in measures designed to boost the labour market. At least 60 per cent of all workers are in better-quality employment after taking part in labour market services supported by the project.


One focus of the project is on working with key national, regional and local actors to build and improve structures and skills for promoting employment. The project is also expanding other labour market policy measures such as careers advice, wage subsidies and support for start-ups.

The project is helping actors to take advantage of employment opportunities, support jobseekers and create new jobs by, for example, providing advice to start-ups. It is advising the Jordanian Ministry of Labour on setting up a quality management system to ensure that support activities and labour market policy measures achieve the desired effects and lead to sustainable investments and lasting employment. The project is also advising the government on devising strategies for integrating women into the labour market.

Employment initiatives in three pilot regions are bringing local actors together with the aim of increasing the availability of jobs at local level. The actors include trade associations, regional governments and private businesses. The GFA Consulting Group is also responsible for putting in place additional labour market policy measures are also being put in place in employment sectors in which there is particular potential for creating work for women, such as childcare.

The project is part of a special initiative designed to stabilise and promote development in North Africa and the Middle East run by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Through the projects that make up this special initiative, BMZ is helping to open up economic and social prospects for people in the region. Within this context, an additional sum of more than EUR 300 million has been earmarked for projects carried out by GIZ and other implementing organisations in the period from 2014 to 2021. The thematic focus is on youth and employment promotion, economic stabilisation, democracy and stabilising neighbouring countries in crisis situations.