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Accelerating broad-based economic development in Jordan must include strategies for improving workforce skills and increasing opportunities for vulnerable groups. USAID has long supported development of general education and vocational/technical training, including establishing Jordan’s first technical institute in 1953. While the overall quality of Jordan’s education system has ranked fairly well historically, its quality relative to international standards has been slipping. The system suffers from outdated techniques and technologies ill-matched to the demands of a modern economy. Many schools don’t provide enough career guidance or job placement assistance.
The best-educated Jordanian professionals are still widely recruited by other Arab countries. Inside Jordan, graduates traditionally seek long-term employment in the public sector or family businesses, though the civil service has been unable to absorb new graduates since the 1990s. While supporting expansion of the private sector to create more and better jobs, USAID also has become Jordan’s major partner in improving the quality and relevance of public education, promoting entrepreneurship and offering new training-for-employment opportunities to ensure that Jordanians can get jobs.
High unemployment coexists with low labor force participation rates, especially among women, despite impressive improvements in their educational attainment and labor participation over the decades. With rising levels of education, come raised expectations for better jobs and higher wages. USAID projects seek to increase awareness and acceptance of a wider range of employment options for Jordanians. By working with partners in the private sector, our Agency’s workforce development programs are also designed to help increase employment opportunities for women, youth and other underserved communities.
Examples of USAID-supported impacts in workforce development include:
- Involved more than 650,000 school and university students in INJAZ (Junior Achievement) leadership and entrepreneurship training since 1999.
- Provided career development opportunities to more than 6,200 university students and new graduates.
- Linked job-seeking youth and hundreds of employers through job fairs around the country.
Last updated: March 23, 2015