Overview

The goal of the Jordan Workforce Development Project (WFD) is to create a competitive, demand-driven workforce development system that leads to increased private sector employment, especially for Jordanian and Syrian women, youth and those living at or below the poverty line across Jordan. WFD established regional offices that work directly with local authorities and businesses to fully support sustainable vocational and technical training that leads to jobs in the private sector.  Job placement is the primary objective of the WFD project; the life-of-project target is 4,235 job placements. 

What We Do

During its final year of operation (Year 3), WFD focuses on key strategies that will help to ensure the program’s targets are met. These strategies include: 

Employer Engagement 

As a demand-driven employment promotion program, it is essential for WFD to remain closely engaged with employers. WFD works with Jordan’s private-sector entities at multiple levels of engagement: at the sector-level, through chambers of industry, chambers of commerce, business cooperatives, and business associations; at the cluster level, through industrial and business parks; and at the firm level, by directly engaging with corporate management. The project activities support key interventions associated with the Jordan Compact, with a particular focus on opportunities in the Special Economic Zones and satellite factories. 

Worker Engagement

WFD’s core mission is to bestow vocational jobseekers in Jordan with the skills and attitudes necessary for obtaining long-term employment. With that mission in mind, the project has developed a number of strategic assets and partnerships that can facilitate training, develop core competencies, and prepare people for the personal challenges of work. WFD partners with communities, religious leaders, NGOs, the Government of Jordan, and with employers themselves to engage with jobseekers and lead them to new employment. The project utilizes new partnerships with chambers of commerce, cooperatives, and business associations to ramp-up efforts for preparing and matching workers with opportunities in non-industrial sectors. WFD will continue to monitor long-term impact to ensure that at least 75 percent of those placed in jobs through the project retain those jobs after one year. 

Crosscutting Support 

While WFD activities are primarily implemented at the local level, the project continues to drive the reform of both national and local laws, by-laws, regulations, and policies related to vocational employment, particularly those dealing with part-time and flex-time regulations.

Background

Given its location and scarce natural resources, Jordan’s economy has been significantly impacted by geopolitical developments in the region, the global financial crises, and expensive energy. Consequently, Jordan’s economic growth has slowed and this has resulted in high unemployment - especially amongst its youth. These conditions present considerable challenges to the advancement of Jordan’s economy, its private sector, and its workforce.

One area of opportunity for workforce development is in the vocational and technical sector. Challenges in this sector are: a mismatch between supply and demand in the labor market, a lack of work-readiness and employability skills, negative perceptions and attitudes towards vocational and technical employment, and unsuitable working environments.

In order to address these economic challenges, the Government of Jordan (GoJ) introduced a number of national initiatives on employment with a focus on the vocational and technical sector (E-TVET). First, the government launched the National Agenda in 2006 which established and operationalized the E-TVET Council, the E-TVET Council Secretariat, the development of the Centre for Accreditation and Quality Assurance (CAQA), and included significant reform of the Vocational and Technical Corporation, and set up the E-TVET Fund. Further, the government also launched a National Employment Strategy (2011-2020) as well as two consecutive National E-TVET Strategies 2008-2013 and 2014-2020 which, in turn, outline priorities and recommendations for developing the vocational and technical sector in Jordan. In early 2015, both HM King Abdullah II and the U.S. Ambassador to Jordan publicly supported these efforts calling for Jordan to prioritize the productive employment of its people.

To support these initiatives, USAID-funded Jordan WFD Project was launched in October 2014 to help Jordan’s public and private sectors in creating a demand-driven, competitive, and inclusive workforce development system. The project will focus on women, youth, and those living at or below the poverty line, and has six target governorates across Jordan including; East Amman, Zarqa, Irbid, Tafileh, Ma’an and Aqaba.

The project collaborates closely with the Government of Jordan (primarily through the Ministry of Labor (MoL) and the TVET entities amongst other relevant ministries), Jordan’s private sector including Chambers of Industry and Commerce across the country, and NGOs working in the TVET arena.

Our Partners
  • Ministry of Labor (MOL)
  • Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance (CAQA)
  • Social Security Corporation (SSC)
  • National Center for Human Resources Development (NCHRD)
  • Vocational Training Corporation (VTC)
  • Employment, Technical and Vocational Education Training (E-TVET)
  • Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC)
  • Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MOTA)
  • Ministry of Education (MOE)
  • Ministry of Interior (MOI)
  • King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD)
Our Principles

The project builds on the work of other USAID initiatives and that of other multilateral and bilateral donors in workforce development. The project works closely with the Government of Jordan, Jordan’s private sector and civil society organizations as key partners and stakeholders in the field. The project focuses on strengthening public-private partnerships (PPPs) in developing a demand-driven, inclusive and competitive workforce in Jordan. Our regional strategies are tailored to opportunities, context and needs of the six target governorates.