20 Apr

Jordan Times - AMMAN — The National Employment Programme 2022, “Tashgheel”, launched by the government earlier this month “does not contribute to reducing unemployment rates” in the Kingdom, according to experts.

Experts emphasised the importance of the Tashgheel programme, which is supposed to generate 60,000 private sector jobs for Jordanians, however, they still questioned the extent of its ability to reduce unemployment rates among young Jordanians.

Director of the Workers’ House, a local NGO, Hamada Abu Nijmeh, said that the similar previous programmes announced by previous governments, had not accomplished any results or achievements on the ground, as unemployment rates have increased over the years.

“There should be an evaluation of the previous programmes to ensure their success, identify the challenges facing them as well as update them according to the requirements of the labour market,” Abu Nejmeh told The Jordan Times over the phone.

According to Abu Nijmeh, “employment policies” differ from “employment services”, and the labour market needs more employment policies.

Employment policies require the participation of many institutions beside the Ministry of Labour, such as the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Investment Authority, and more, Abu Nijmeh added.

He noted that the unemployment rate continues to rise in Jordan, and therefore, new job opportunities must be created, most importantly through attracting new investments and establishing institutions, factories and projects that can provide a number of job opportunities.

Abu Nijmeh emphasised the need to activate the partnership with the private sector, as well as address the imbalances in education policies, taking into account the labour market requirements and its needs for competencies, in addition to developing vocational training programmes aligning with recent developments in training policies and programmes.

In order to ensure the success of training and employment programmes, they must be designed for jobs and professions that are actually required in the labour market, Abu Nejmeh said.

“This can only be achieved with the real participation of employers themselves in the development and implementation of programmes,” he added.

Abu Nejmeh said that the allocated salary for the programme is “too low”, which discourages people from joining the programme.

“There should be protection programmes and decent work conditions for workers as well, especially young people, alongside the training opportunities, in order to attract those people to the labour market,” he continued.

Ahmad Awad, director of the Phenix Centre for Economics and Informatics Studies, noted that the government’s efforts are important and commendable in providing these programmes, however, it needs to be reviewed since the previous programmes over the past years have not succeeded in reducing unemployment rates as they are constantly increasing instead which indicates their “ineffectiveness”.

According to Awad, the Tashgheel programme has several “missing links”, mainly the fact that they do not target the main reason behind the high unemployment rates, which is “the decline in the ability of the national economy to generate sufficient job opportunities for people”.

In addition, Awad noted that education policies should be reviewed. “We expanded university education at the expense of intermediate, technical and vocational education, which represents the needs of the labour market,” he said.

“Working conditions in the public sector are better than in the private sector, and there are big differences in terms of vacations, wages, and much more in favour of the public sector, which drives people off of the private sector,” he added.

Economist Salameh Darawi noted that the success of the programme depends on the extent to which the private sector can offer in regard to job opportunities.

“The government is required to solve employment-related problems for the private sector to expand and to increase investments, which is the only way to increase the capacity of the private sector to operate and employ people,” Darawi told The Jordan Times on Monday.

Darawi also noted that the employment programme lacks training that aligns with the needs of the private sector, therefore the graduates lack the requirements of employment in the private sector.

Darawi encouraged young Jordanians to pursue vocational training and to focus on the needs of the labour market.

The private sector needs employees to support its business and do their jobs at best, which requires continuous follow-up and the evaluation of the efficiency of graduates and their acceptance of work requirements with a guarantee that they are treated according to the labour law and obtain their full rights, Darawi said.

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