Providing Employment Support Services to Improve Employment Opportunities for Youth

The Qudra 2 programme supports youth in Jordan to develop the skills that help them improve their access to employment opportunities.

One form of this support is the provision of career guidance and counselling services (CGC) for young jobseekers jointly by Qudra 2 and the German Cooperation project “Qualification Oriented to Employment in the Craft”.

The collaboration was initiated because both projects support vocational training courses, career guidance, and counselling services for Jordanian and Syrian refugee youth. Through close cooperation, the two programmes pool resources and expertise to better support our partners and young people in Jordan.

In a pilot phase, the programmes jointly developed curricula and guidelines for local training providers. These products outline four pillars for career guidance: (i) self-awareness, (ii) opportunity awareness, (iii) developing alternative career paths and (iv) career preparation.

Together with five local partners, pilots were implemented in 13 locations in Jordan, including centres in Amman, Irbid, Karak, Mafraq, Tafileh and Zarqa. Over the last three months, two project partners from the Ministry of Labour, National Employment and the Training Company, Vocational Training Corporation, Luminus Technical College University and Education for Employment – Jordan, have conducted CGC training sessions.

So far, 1,000 beneficiaries have participated in the training sessions, which aim to support the transition from education to the labour market.

Another activity for Qudra 2 includes cooperation with “SkillLab”, a social enterprise that developed the IT-based “SkillLab” application. The application provides job seekers with skills assessments, skills-based matching, access to vacancies, career counselling and job-application support to guide them to turn their skills into careers.

During an onboarding training organised for Qudra 2 partners on 19 October 2022, participants learned to properly use the “SkillLab” application and familiarise themselves with its functions and features. The training participants can now use this IT platform to help jobseekers to match their skills with private sector demands.

Delivery of compactors for garbage collection to six municipalities

In Jordan, the Qudra 2 programme supports six municipalities in the Northern governorate of Mafraq to work alongside civil society to provide transparent and inclusive basic services for all their residents.

As part of Qudra 2’s support to the six municipalities, the programme handed over seven compactors for garbage collection to enhance the municipalities’ effectiveness of their waste management public services.

The handover event took place at the Mercedes facilities in the Zarqa free zone on 15 December 2022 and was attended by HE Miguel de Lucas, Spanish Ambassador to Jordan, who handed over the keys of the waste collection trucks to the mayors of the six municipalities of Rihab, Hosha, Sarhan, Manshyat Bani Hasan, Basiliyeh and Great Mafraq.

“We encourage local administrations to continue working on this sector to build up cleaner cities by allying with citizens to jointly achieve this goal. Involving citizens and organised civil society would be basic elements for the transformation of the municipalities”, said HE Miguel de Lucas, Spanish Ambassador to Jordan, during the delivery event.

Mr. Nasser Al-Khazaleh, Mayor of Great Mafraq expressed, “These compactors will help us to provide a better waste management public service for our communities”.

Training and Work-Based Learning (WBL) for Better Employment Chances

In cooperation with our partners, 1,700 youth have been enrolled in training courses based on the work-based learning (WBL) methodology developed by Qudra 2 in consultation with Jordanian stakeholders. WBL gives youth the chance to gain real-world work experience that will equip them with the practical skills that employers look for, thereby increasing their chances of finding a job.

The training courses are provided to youth and women residing in Jordan’s most vulnerable locations, including refugee camps. The focus is on semi-skilled professions such as sewing or dough-making. Of 1,700 trainees, almost 1,000 have completed their training, and 750 are participating in training. More than 300 Jordanian and Syrian youth have found a job already.

Developing the Skills that Can Land Jobs

Mafraq Governorate hosts the highest number of Syrian refugees. In cooperation with our local partner, National Employment & Training (NET), Qudra 2 supports training courses that address the needs and gaps in the labour market.

In Mafraq Governorate, Jordan, Qudra 2’s local partner National Employment & Training (NET), provided sewing courses for 25 women. The courses are held in centres close to their homes, making it easier for women to attend and reducing the risk of drop-outs in a neighbourhood where many women are reluctant to leave their houses.

In this one-month training course, women learnt new skills in tailoring and sewing. Their new skills improve their chances in the labour market. Of the 25 participants, two women started their own home-based business, and four women are employed and earn a living by sewing.

Colour a #BetterFuture together! – Strengthening Resilience through the Arts

Together with its partner Artolution, Qudra 2 in Jordan kicked off the “Creative Education: Strengthening Resilience through the Arts” project in March 2022. Artolution’s methodology uses various collaborative art-making techniques that provide a platform for vulnerable young people to shape their own narratives and build positive relationships, thereby strengthening social cohesion. The project will be implemented in 12 schools targeting 600 students aged 10-18.

Training on Artolution’s methodology was conducted for 12 teaching artists to equip them with the knowledge and skills required to lead the students through the creative process. Students are guided to conceptualise their art, collaborate with their peers, and produce an original work of art that they can present to the broader community.

By the end of June, the creative arts project had been implemented in four schools in the Zarqa and Irbid Governorates in eastern and northern Jordan. 210 Jordanian and Syrian students participated in the arts activities such as mural painting, dance, and theatre performances.

You can watch their performance here

Safer Access to Better Schools – Improved School Transport and Sustainable Facility Management for Schools in Jordan

Jordan’s education system urgently needs suitable school transportation services and efficient facility management. High costs and potential safety risks in school transport provide a barrier to accessing education. Overcrowding and vandalism, among other factors, create poor learning environments that need to be addressed through continuous facility management.

In Jordan, Qudra 2 addresses two significant challenges in the education sector by developing an improved school transport system and a sustainable facility management model in cooperation with the Ministries of Transport and Education.

To better understand the current situation of public-school transport in Jordan, the Qudra 2 programme conducted a needs assessment by consulting stakeholders such as the Ministries of Transport and Education, members of the local community and parents. Furthermore, a survey developed to analyse the root causes of challenges in the school transport sector was distributed to 20 licensed school transport service providers. The survey revealed that public school transport regulations require updating. Furthermore, operational costs and traffic jams prevent service providers from providing their services efficiently.

Qudra 2 supports improving school transport by upgrading school buses to national safety standards and developing criteria for school transport provision to increase safe, regulated, and affordable access to schools.

Another challenge the Jordanian education sector faces is providing an appealing learning environment to students. The prolonged closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant lack of maintenance of public schools.

Strengthening the facility management capacities of the different players, including the Ministry of Education and its associated departments, field directorates, and schools, is necessary to ensure schools are clean and safe. Strengthening the longer-term capacities of the Jordanian education sector to maintain schools is also essential to ensure the sustainability of investments in school infrastructure made since the onset of the Syrian crisis.

With Qudra 2 support, a pilot study on facility management, security, health, and safety in schools was conducted to update the Ministry of Education’s facility management guidelines and make recommendations on how to apply them nationwide sustainably.

These recommendations are now being tested in a pilot. Two checklists were developed, including minimum educational facility management standards, security, and health and safety procedures. The checklists were applied in a pilot assessment of 70 schools in the North-West Badia Field Directorate in Mafraq Governorate. The pilot assessed the current situation and shortfalls against minimum standards.

Awareness sessions on facility management, security, health, and safety in schools were conducted for 12 staff from the Ministry of Education and the North-West Badia Field Directorate to support relevant actors in improving school standards. Moreover, 12 engineers from the Ministry of Education and 168 engineers from the Field Directorates have completed training on a WebGIS Smart School Facility Management System. The management system will enable all relevant players to monitor the school maintenance process and make more data-driven decisions. As trainers, the trained engineers will cascade the WebGIS facility management system training to over 8,000 school staff.

Mobile Journalism

In cooperation with the Al Jazeera Media Institute, CFImedias organised a Mobile Journalism training event, ‘MOJO’, from 24-27 February 2022. Jordanian, Syrian and Palestinian journalists attended the training.

Thirteen journalists from five governorates (Amman, Irbid, Balqa, Mafraq and Zarqa), including seven Syrians, three Palestinians and three Jordanians were selected from 1,280 applicants to participate in the training.

During the training, the participating journalists learned about how to take good photos with mobile phones, the basics of video filming, basics of storytelling and editing.

Semi-skilled training programmes

More than 1,200 youth have been actively engaged in semi-skilled training programmes through Work-Based Learning (WBL) in cooperation with our partners. Around 13% of trained youth started generating income directly after finalising their training. As part of the WBL approach, various (± 40) training programmes are currently provided, and approximately 95 more will start soon.

Concurrently, in consultation with the National Employment and Training Company, “Occupational Standards”, a new curriculum on Building Maintenance has been developed. Private sector representatives were involved in developing the curriculum to ensure that it responds to the specific skills needs of the market.

Certified quality learning

Qudra 2 and its local partner, Luminus for Social Development (LMNS), started a new initiative to provide quality certified 4-month Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for 210 Syrian youth, of whom more than 40% are females. A one-month internship programme follows the training.

The students will attend courses for four months in the beauty, garment manufacture, HVAC, hospitality and other sectors based on the needs of the labour market. The technical skills programmes will be supplemented with soft skills, employability skills, and English language skills.

Students will ultimately undertake a 5-month skills development programme including technical skills, soft skills, financial literacy, women’s leadership, language and a one-month internship. Graduates will attend a 1-month internship programme. Luminus Technical University College (LTUC) will secure internship placements based on its partnerships with private sector companies. Students will be coached and mentored by LTUC throughout this period. The internships will help students put learning into practice and prove themselves with the ultimate aim to secure employment. Students will ultimately undertake a 5-month skills development programme including technical skills, soft skills, financial literacy, women’s leadership, language and a one-month internship.

Lifelong Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted all parts of society and has increased the economic challenges faced by Jordan. The Qudra 2 programme and its local partner, Education for Employment – Jordan (EFE-Jordan), respond to these challenges by providing “Job Training and Placement” programmes mainly focusing on Jordanian and Syrian youth.

Young people and women have been particularly affected by the loss of jobs and the overall negative impact of COVID-19 on private businesses.

The Qudra 2 programme, and its local partner, Education for Employment – Jordan (EFE-Jordan), responds to these challenges by providing “Job Training and Placement” programmes mainly focusing on Jordanian and Syrian young women. The newly opened beauty programmes primarily focus on empowering participants with technical skills and specialised knowledge in cosmetics. Furthermore, the provision of life skills will qualify young women to prepare better resumes and successfully conduct job interviews. The training courses contribute to the improvement of women’s economic and social status by equipping them with the needed skills to better access jobs and secure new sources of income.

As part of our cooperation with EFE-Jordan, toolkits were distributed to the graduates of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) training programme. Toolkits are an essential step in enabling youth to start their future businesses and secure a stable source of income.

Life skills training has been provided to the Kareem hypermarket employees under the upskilling training programme, which is followed by sector-specific training related to the employees’ work to enhance their skills and build their capacities in wholesale and trade sector especially in the areas of grocery, household goods, electronics and industrial equipment.