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Youth

STRENGTHENING YOUTH ENGAGEMENT

STRENGTHENING YOUTH ENGAGEMENT

JORDAN

Almost two-thirds of the Jordanian population is under the age of thirty, offering enormous potential for the country to benefit from a “demographic dividend.” As the share of working-age people grows in comparison to very old or young segments of the population, they can act as energetic agents of change in their countries and communities and propel economic growth. However, in order to do so, they have to be equipped with the knowledge, resources, and opportunities they need to succeed.

Youth face a number of challenges in Jordan, including a rising cost of living, limited job opportunities, an education system that does not provide them with skills and knowledge that match the needs of the labor market, and limited opportunities for political engagement. Over a third of youth are unemployed, and they lack opportunities for professional development, safe outlets for civic engagement, and access to resources and public services, particularly outside of Jordan’s capital and major cities.

Jordan’s 2016-2025 National Strategy for Human Resource Development has identified youth development, engagement, and empowerment as national priorities. USAID works with the Government of Jordan and youth throughout the Kingdom to ensure that youth have access to opportunities and support to build brighter, more prosperous futures for themselves and their communities.

AREAS OF FOCUS
EXPANDED ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

USAID works across sectors to harness the economic potential of the next generation. USAID partners with the Government of Jordan and the private sector to provide on-the-job training and employment to youth through innovative, enterprise-driven development initiatives. USAID expands internships, training programs, and employment opportunities in promising sectors like hospitality, water services, and civil society so that young people can gain practical skills for the workplace and join in Jordan’s economic growth and prosperity.

STRONG CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

When youth have the power to make themselves heard, they can help build strong, stable, and responsive communities. USAID works with the Government of Jordan and civil society to encourage political participation of youth through providing civic engagement curricula in schools and universities and teaching youth about electoral campaigning. In addition, USAID and its partners strengthen access to youth-focused support services and help youth conduct initiatives and advocacy campaigns that improve their communities, fostering a sense of agency and local ownership and giving them the skills to lead change in their communities.

ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION

Young people in Jordan deserve the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed. USAID works with the Ministries of Education and Public Works and Housing to build and renovate schools with youth facilities, train teachers, and strengthen parental engagement in schools to give youth access to safe and inclusive learning spaces. USAID also provides non-formal education to out-of-school youth and builds awareness of healthy lifestyles, family planning, and reproductive health so that youth are empowered to take control of their futures.

NOTEWORTHY ACHIEVEMENTS

 

  • Youth who participated in USAID-supported theoretical and on-the-job training with the Americana Group have a greater sense of resilience and self-sufficiency, with 100 percent reporting that they now feel able to handle life’s challenges compared to 38 percent before the training.

  • Over 2,000 students have drawn on leadership and advocacy training from USAID to conduct local and national campaigns. From January to October 2018, students worked on over 281 civic intiaitives, addressing issues like water pollution, early marriage, vandalism of cultural heritage sites, and unheated schools, among many others.

  • In 2016, USAID supported the establishment of Employment Promotion Units at the Chambers of Industry in Amman, Irbid, and Zarqa to provide soft-skills training and career counseling and to boost awareness of vocational job opportunities, particularly among youth and women. The units have placed over 2,500 workers and are now working to become self-sustaining through the provision of quality, fee-based services to employees and employers.

  • In Jordan, high school education is a prerequisite not just for pursuing higher education, but also for securing a livable wage. After completing the USAID non-formal education program and earning their tenth-grade equivalency certificate, 53 percent of participants plan to continue their education and 29 percent plan to enroll in vocational courses after graduating.

Last updated: November 12, 2019

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