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ICMC Labor Market Assessment

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ICMC commissioned this labour market assessment (LMA) in the selected geographical areas in Jordan (Irbid, Mafraq, Jerash, Ajloun, and Zarqa) to provide vital information for the planning, programming, and improvement of its livelihoods program. This assessment has been conducted within the framework of ICMC’s humanitarian and development assistance to refugees and vulnerable Jordanians in Jordan with funding from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM). The findings and recommendations will support ICMC to provide the most impactful assistance for individuals to successfully access sustainable, decent, income generating opportunities that will benefit themselves, their families, and communities.

Methodology

A mixed methodology and participatory approaches were adopted to collect data and information for this report, including qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis. The methods used included a desk review, individual interviews with employers and job seekers, focus group discussions (FGDs) with households, and key informant interviews. Kobo Toolbox was used for data entry and analysis. From the five governorates targeted within the assessment, data was collected from 70 job seekers, 26 employers/business owners, 20 key informant interviews (five VTIs, one government entity, five INGOs, nine CBOs/training providers), and six focus group discussions with households (72 individuals).

Key Findings

The analysis of the data showed that within the local economy, the most needed service for both refugees and Jordanians is general house maintenance, such as repairing furniture, water connections and electricity, and rehabilitation of walls and ceilings. In terms of employment opportunities, the results indicated that there are very limited opportunities available. However, new opportunities can be created by enhancing the capabilities of the target beneficiaries and their knowledge to generate creative and innovative solutions to problems and thereby create new products, services, and businesses.

The labour market is saturated with people skilled in hairdressing, sewing, and food processing and preservation. However, within these specific areas, there is a demand for niche services (i.e. expertise of particular hair treatments such as keratin application, sewing for specific products, and agricultural training, such as such as hydroponics, greenhousing, livestock, food production and manufacturing which can be conducted through home-based businesses). The skills learned in agricultural training could also be used for work as a freelancer on other farms or lands for landowners.

  • Very few employment opportunities are available for both refugees and Jordanians., which has been further exacerbated by the recent impact of COVID-19 on the local economy. Respondents in this study recommended that in order to create new job opportunities, it is necessary to first equip job seekers with entrepreneurship skills, creative thinking for new businesses, and employability skills. Therefore, it is important to complement vocational training courses with courses to build soft skills and competences for VT graduates.

  • Tourism within Jordan has been negatively affected due to the COVID-19 epidemic restrictions, specifically most restaurants have closed in Ajloun and Jerash, which provided many of the job opportunities in these locations.

  • Unfortunately, governmental regulations and policies do not stimulate employers to hire more young people or expand their businesses. There is also no data-driven planning for job creation or professional career counselling at VTIs or follow-up and action plans. It has also been noted that registration of home-based businesses is complicated in terms of requirements and documentation.

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Conclusion

Any attempt to triangulate the assessment results led to the conclusion that there is no agreement between stakeholders regarding the market demands. Each party claims that they know the priority skills needed within the labour market. However, this claim is usually based on personal relations and communications instead of on the analysis of market data from reliable sources. In general, this disagreement is a result of many factors, namely the lack of data, the lack of coordination between stakeholders, and the lack of efficient awareness raising activities in relation to the labour market in Jordan. Additionally, there is no responsible department tasked with collecting and assessing labour market data, which means there are no tangible, longer-term strategies in place to improve the market.

Among the many challenges to find a job or establish a business, refugees see that the most significant hurdle is related to governmental policies and regulations. Finally, when respondents look to the future with expanded areas or improvement in the status of the economy in Jordan, the most promising employment opportunities are agriculture oriented and technology-based jobs. However, the labour market policy in Jordan does not encourage agriculture because this sector is not able to improve economic growth and mostly depends on foreign workers. The study is concluded by a set of recommendations.

Read 156 times Last modified on Wednesday, 02 March 2022 00:14

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