Country Portfolio Jordan
The following portfolio represents the winners from the first Call for Solutions in Jordan, launched in December 2020. CFYE intended to co-invest in pioneering private sector-led initiatives that would deliver sustainable employment to young people, particularly women, while also supplying businesses with appropriately skilled personnel. CFYE was open to all sectors in its Call to cater to Jordan’s smaller population (10.5 million) and micro-entrepreneurial private sector. Lina Alkhawaja is our Country Lead for Jordan.
Jordan’s Job Market & Youth
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is home to a predominantly young population with two-thirds of people under the age of thirty. Despite the high literacy rates (98%, 2018) and high university attainment among this demographic, the rate of unemployment is substantial, standing at close to 40% in 2019. This is not surprising given that the majority of young graduates seek work in an increasingly competitive public service sector.
CFYE’s scoping research recorded youth aspirations involve taking advantage of upskilling opportunities. The participants shared that they strive for certifications due to a clear understanding that their university qualifications were simply not enough to provide them with a direct pathway to employment opportunities.
The primary focus of youth ambition in Jordan was to find employment that offers security, and decent working conditions and allows for personal and professional development.
Jordan’s economy is dominated by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, 90% of which have experienced a decline following the pandemic. Workers, therefore, remain vulnerable and in the long run, business efficiencies are compromised. This has significant economic implications as a 2018 ILO study exemplified that the lack of female participation in the labor force alone results in a loss of 21% in the value of the national GDP.
To help the private sector in Jordan create a pathway to decent youth employment that is in line with the youth’s ambitions, we launched our first Jordan Call in 2021. Following the innovative responses initiated by the private sector and the number of meaningful youth employment programs, we opened a second Call for Solutions in 2022.
Our Portfolio in Jordan
Given Jordan youth’s aspirations, the business climate, and the needs of supply and demand, we developed a portfolio that focuses on high-priority industries, such as manufacturing, education, and research to deliver innovative solutions to the challenges put forward. We plan to achieve more than 2.430 decent jobs for Jordanian youth. This will be accomplished through creating new jobs, matching youth to appropriate jobs, or improving the conditions of existing jobs to achieve decency in work.
The professional advancement of women occupies a significant portion of the portfolio, as more than 1.400 of the jobs will be held by young Jordanian women – exceeding CFYE’s 50% ambition.
Our current portfolio in Jordan begins to address the complexities of youth ambitions, particularly the goal of upskilling. We are encouraged to see how our partners tackle these issues by providing vocational training in the manufacturing sector, thereby engaging youth with different experience levels in the workforce. We have a combination of waged employment and self-employment in our current portfolio, united in one goal: helping youth find decent employment.
With CFYE’s support, our project is more likely to reach our goal of training more than 300 people and hiring 200 young people. Both the financial and technical assistance will be vital to improving the project and will enable us to provide decent work for a higher number of youth and women.
As this consortium is private sector-led with no previous experience in managing similar projects, CFYE’s technical support will be vital to achieving the desired impact. This will help us achieve our goal of generating 400 sustainable gig-based opportunities and matching 1600 job seekers.