Vocational training plays a critical role in equipping young people with the right skills to meet the labour market’s needs, fuelling competitiveness while reducing youth unemployment, say economists.
Minister of Education and Minister of Scientific Research and Higher Education Azmi Mahafza said that the ministry will add six vocational training specialisations this academic year, and will add 10 more specialisations by the year 2024, as reported by Al Mamlaka TV.
Economist Wajdi Makhamreh told The Jordan Times that the technological revolution across the globe is changing the fundamental nature of work across industries and sectors, causing a major skills gap in today’s workforce.
“Adding vocational training specialisations is indeed a positive step towards reducing unemployment rates, boosting employability chances and helping youth gain work-related skills,” Makhamreh added.
He added that vocational training helps youth gain skills in a particular career and boost their employability chances by helping them focus on hands-on experience. Furthermore, the presence of certified and well-trained vocational training programmes helps employers find skilled graduates to fill entry-level positions, which will ultimately result in recruiting skilled staff, reducing unemployment and increasing competitiveness among industries, said Makhamreh.
“Vocational training can be taken as stand-alone qualification, or can be combined with academic qualifications like Tawjihi,” Makhamreh added.
A unique mix of academic and technical learning equips students to either further study or kick-start their careers by providing them with practical and transferable skills that will fit almost any industry, said Makhamreh.
Meanwhile, economist Hosam Ayesh told The Jordan Times that vocational training combines structured learning and on-the-job learning with classroom training, which leads to certified skills that are relevant to employers and portable in the labour market.
“Countries with strong vocational training programmes are in a better position to avert rising youth unemployment, even in difficult times,” Ayesh added.
He noted that advancing technical, vocational and digital skills is key to enhancing primary infrastructure which will lead to advanced economic and industrial growth.
Equipping youth with vocational and technical skills helps reduce unemployment and replace foreign labour with local workforce, said Ayesh.
“We are not against foreign labour. However, we prioritise enrolling local youth in the labour market and reducing Jordanians’ unemployment rates,” Ayesh noted.
Ayesh said that the ministry’s ongoing efforts to introduce and encourage vocational training are recognised and appreciated. However, the most important factor is to combine academic skills with hands-on experiences by focusing more on the practical side of vocational training over the theoretical, he added