"Enhancing access to labor market in Karak, Tafila, Ma'an and Aqaba by increasing employability and improving opportunities for vocational training”

" Enhancing access to labor market in Karak, Tafila, Ma'an and Aqaba by increasing employability and improving opportunities for vocational training " organized by the Business Development Center and under the patronage of the Minister of Social Development with the presence of the Assistant Secretary General Essam Al Sharida, the CEO of the Business Development Center Mr. Nayef Stetieh, the Director of Italian Agency for Development and Cooperation in Jordan, Mr. Michel Morneau and representatives of government agencies and civil society organizations.

This workshop was part of the project "Promoting Income Improvement and Empowerment of the Most Vulnerable Areas in the Karak, Tafila, Ma'an and Aqaba Governorates through Increasing Employment and Improving the Presentation of Vocational Training", managed by Business Development Center (BDC) in cooperation with the Italian Institute for Academic Cooperation (ICU).

The project aims to reduce the impact of the Syrian crisis on Syrian refugees and host communities by supporting associations and cooperative institutions to improve sustainable livelihoods. The workshop hosts representatives of associations, institutions and beneficiaries of the local community within the target governorates in a two day workshop to discuss the most important challenges, opportunities and threats in the labor market in the southern provinces with a focus on the role of the Syrian crisis and the dialogue on the stations of knowledge and business incubators and then come out with proposed strategies that contribute to creating jobs and activating the role of associations in the civil society.

The opening session featured an interactive session moderated by the former secretary General of the Ministry of Labor, Hamada Abu Nejmeh, in the presence of the Director of the Vocational Training Foundation, the Director of Employment Directorate at the Ministry of Labor, representatives of the International Labor Organization, Ma'an Development company, the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees and the Jordanian Cooperative. The guests highlighted during the discussion the opportunities and challenges of the labor market in the targeted governorates and the role of the Ministry of Labor in coordination with the local community institutions to create jobs in the southern governorates.

Brief about the nature of programs was offered by the development company Maan regarding what is possible to provide to local community institutions. International Labor representatives and the Office of the High Commissioner spoke as well about programs for the South and the future vision of Syrian refugees in the South.

In his welcoming speech, Mr. Nayef Stetieh noted the importance of the workshop and the civil society,  local organizations have in the public and private sectors to identify the biggest challenges facing the kingdom, especially the southern governorates with poverty and unemployment. In fact, according to the statistics launched by the Department of Statistics, the unemployment rate increased in the third quarter of 2018 by up to 18.6% and the provinces of the south had the largest share in registering the highest unemployment rates (in the first quarter of the year 2018 the province of Maan was the highest unemployment rate of 24.1% and in the second quarter Tafila Governorate By 24.6%).

Mr. Stetieh also urged the need to intensify efforts to invest in time within the workshop and come up with practical recommendations to provide all the solutions that demonstrate the difficulties and drive the progress forward, saying  "We came to look at the full side of the cup to highlight the opportunities available in the governorates of the south, especially with its advantages as tourism and investment opportunities, as well as the existence of associations and vocational training institutions that provide specialized vocational training to qualify young people and provide them with technical and vocational training with the presence of skilled instructors that contribute to the transformation of the energies of young people to the opportunities of employment "

In subsequent steps, the Business Development Center, in collaboration with the Institute of Academic Cooperation (ICU), will provide entrepreneurship and vocational training programs for Jordanian and Syrian youth through associations chosen from the southern governorates, all aimed at providing operational opportunities for youth and community. Cecilia Leone, project manager at Institute of Academic Cooperation presented important results of the skills assessment carried out in collaboration with the Business Development Center in the southern governorates.

It is noteworthy that since its creation in 2004 as a Jordanian nonprofit institution, the Business Development Center has been designing and implementing programs to support young people to enter the labor market by building their capacity, empowering them and networking them with job opportunities in accordance with the requirements of different sectors as well as entrepreneurship and technology initiatives.