AMMAN — Vocational and professional experts have recommended providing equal training opportunities for men and women from Jordan and Syria and boosting vocational training for women, especially in remote areas of the Kingdom.
The experts voiced their recommendation during a panel discussion held on Monday by the Phenix Centre for Economic Studies through the Zoom platform, and in cooperation with the Oxfam organisation and the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme (DAPP), moderated by Labour Market and Employment Professional Ghada Salem.
The panel, held under the theme “The role of the Vocational Training Corporation [VTC] in preparing youth for the labour market”, was attended by experts in youth integration in vocational training and the labour market, a Phenix Centre statement said on Wednesday.
The participants recommended providing training opportunities based on the needs of the Jordanian labour market, boosting the role of the private sector in providing new training opportunities and with the support of media outlets, developing awareness campaigns on the importance of integrating youth in such programmes at an early stage and adding new types of training in accordance with the needs of the various sectors.
According to Director of the Phenix Centre Ahmad Awad: “The volume of challenges in the labour market is huge, and there is a recession in the capabilities of the national economy in regards to providing sufficient vacancies, which means that unemployment will increase, and this requires finding new opportunities in the technical and vocational areas,” the statement said.
Awad noted that the unemployment rate due to the coronavirus pandemic has become a matter of concern that requires expanding vocational training programmes to create more jobs for graduates, noting that this was the government’s approach even before the crisis.
He called for better coordination between the training institute and the private sector in regards to the available programmes.
General Manager of the VTC Ziyad Obaidat said that the corporation looks forward to a partnership with the private sector and civil society institutions, highlighting their importance and their role in creating programmes that fit the standards of the Jordanian labour market.
According to Obaidat, there are 38 training centres around the Kingdom and 350 training workshops covering over 100 majors, with 20,000 people enrolled in the VTC’s programmes.
The cost of training one person can reach up to JD750, according to the statement.
On the privatisation of vocational training, Obaidat said: “The partnership with the private sector does not mean the privatisation of vocational training because the programmes target underprivileged to middle-income segments and the corporation does not seek profit from them.”
He also said that the corporation is working on programmes that fit with the labour market in the Kingdom, taking the crisis into consideration, which he said “showed that there is a need for a database on the market and a need for digitalisation”.
In total, the corporation trained 5,000 people remotely from mid-March to the beginning of July.
For her part, Ghadeer Kuhffash, an expert in the labour force and women’s rights, called for integration between the VTC and the private sector, highlighting the challenges facing vocational training in Jordan in regards to the types of vacancies and the training environment.
According to Kuhffash, women’s participation in the economy faces challenges as well, including a pay gap and workplace discrimination, which is “why the partnership is important to improve the quality of the work environment”.