Project title: Employment promotion in Jordan
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Jordanian Ministry of Labour
Overall term: 2016 to 2022
Jordan is facing major challenges within its labour market, with the country's current unemployment rate sitting above 18 per cent. The situation is especially difficult for women and young people, as female unemployment is among the highest in the world reaching around 30 per cent. Moreover, the employed are often overqualified for their jobs or lack income security. Overall, more than twice as many new graduates enter the labour market than jobs created per year. The integration of refugees is an additional challenge: currently, roughly 671,000 Syrian refugees are officially living in Jordan; of which many are in need of support and income opportunities.
Meanwhile, there is a mismatch between the skills young people acquire in school and university and the demand of the labour market. Especially in manual and technical trades, as there are insufficient skilled workers. Training often focuses more on theory than practice and is therefore not geared towards private sector needs. Additionally, there is a lack of available training (for example, advanced practical courses) to ease the transition into employment.
In addition, working in private companies is considered less attractive than having a job in the public sector, because it is seen as offering greater security for doing the same type of work, especially among women. Open vacancies in the manufacturing sector are difficult to fill and many employees leave the job soon after starting in a company, due to the wages and working conditions in factories are considered to be insufficient.
The project promotes job matching services with its partners to better the chances of finding employment in the private sector with a special focus on women and youth. More than 1100 people have been already supported in finding jobs and more than 400 have benefitted from better working conditions through the project.
The project is working with key national, regional and local actors to build and improve structures and capacities for promoting employment. In particular, the project is supporting the provision of public and private labour market services including careers advice, job matching and support for self-employed people.
EPP is working closely with the Jordanian Ministry of Labour to improve their quality management system and ensure that support activities and labour market policy measures achieve the desired effects leading 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 four selected governorates (Irbid, Balqa, Karak and Ma’an) are bringing together different local actors with the aim of increasing the availability of jobs at local level and jointly design measures to support employment. The actors include private sector associations, regional governments, civil society and private businesses. As part of the Employment Promotion Programme, GFA Consulting Group is also responsible for putting in place additional labour market policy measures for creating economic opportunities for women, particularly in the fields of child-and elderly care.
In cooperation with chambers of industry and individual pilot companies, the project develops instruments to improve the attractiveness of jobs in the manufacturing sector. With a particular focus on HR practices in recruitment and retention of employees, the instruments aim to improve the working environment, transparency of benefits and safety and security at the workplace.
This 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 2024. The thematic focus is on youth and employment promotion, economic stabilisation, democracy and stabilising neighbouring countries in crisis situations.