Mehnati is an employability readiness portal that aims to bridge the employment gap in Jordan. We aim to achieve fair and equal employment for youth through delivering learning, facilitating apprenticeships, and building an employability profile shared with key employers. The portal is a result of a close collaboration between three entities. Our consortium will develop the portal through a private sector player (Salalem), gain global insights and funding from a global multinational (International Labour Organisation), and reach the whole country of Jordan through a local partner (Chamber of Industry). Our partnership will serve the purpose of facilitating decent job opportunities to young Jordanians.
Jordan has been receiving many refugees in the past years, currently hosting over 700,000 refugees (source UNHCR). The growing number of refugees requires the economy to build extra resilience and offer more employment opportunities. The Covid-19 pandemic, however, has further exacerbated the unemployment rate in Jordan, reaching 25%. Lack of access to the employment market disproportionately affects women (28.5 %).
The gap between the skills of available workers and those demanded by the market is a stark challenge across the MENA region. Jordan is no exception, particularly considering how the economy’s growth has been stifled by regional turmoil. Despite the presence of an eager labour force, Jordan’s employers continue to struggle in their attempts to recruit competent workers. In particular, young graduates find that they are not fully prepared for working life, as the traditional educational system does not cover digital, technical, and soft skills required in many fast-growing sectors of the economy. There is an overwhelming mismatch between the skills acquired by young people and the skills in demand.
While youth lack a supportive environment and skill-building to direct them to the right job, employers seek to fill specific positions. Our platform strives to tackle this issue by bridging the knowledge gap and helping youth find decent work placements.
Salalem has a successful track record of commercializing ed-tech for continuous re-skilling. Working closely with the ILO and the Jordan Chamber of Industry will bring about a tech-enabled approach under Mehnati Portal that links all stakeholders. Mehnati will onboard employers, job seekers, and training providers and provide tools to guide job seekers to the right training programs. It will serve as an online hub for vocational training development and will include three main sectors: Garments and Leather Manufacturing, Chemicals and Cosmetics Manufacturing, and Plastic.
The project’s overall objective is for women and youth to have access to decent work opportunities in the gig economy, the Garments and Leather Manufacturing sector, Chemicals and Cosmetics Manufacturing Sector, and Plastic sector. To achieve this objective, the team identified two outcomes: Create a total of 400 sustainable gig-based opportunities and match 1600 job seekers to decent work opportunities in the Garments and Leather Manufacturing sector and Chemicals and Cosmetics Manufacturing Sector. To achieve this objective, the consortium will develop a vocational training system in Jordan. We will work with the sector skill councils to develop occupational standards, training curricula and material led by Jordanian experts. The consortium will also work on developing a comprehensive digital talent development and job matching platform that will work as a complete hub hosting the required training material.
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. We will significantly benefit from CFYE’s assistance in Project Management (including financial reporting), gender analysis and integration, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as developing and tracking the project indicators.