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Gov’t dispatches officials to talk frustrated jobseekers into stopping protest marches to Amman

Officials say private sector jobs available, so is SME funding

By JT - Feb 20,2019 - Last updated at Feb 20,2019

A group of jobseekers seen coming on foot from Aqaba to Amman (Photo courtesy of Al Rai newspaper)

AMMAN — The Ministry of Labour on Wednesday confirmed that it was still following up on the issue of jobseekers coming on foot from Aqaba and other governorates, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

The ministry said it also dispatched Assistant Secretary General for Technical Affairs Abdullah Jbour, accompanied by a number of employment directors, to communicate with the protesters.

Labour Ministry Spokesperson Mohammad Khatib said that the ministry’s officials contacted the youth who “do not want to return until they arrive in Amman, and want to be hired at the Ports Company, Arab Potash Company, Phosphate Company, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), Industrial Ports Company, Gas Port, Petrol Refinery or the Marine Corps”.

He added that the group had handed Jbour the closed list of employers, demanding that they be immediately appointed in one of these entities before returning to Aqaba.

Reports said that other unemployed citizens, inspired by the protest, decided to walk to Amman from Irbid and Theeban in Madaba.

Khatib said that Adnan Dahamsheh, the ministry’s labour relations director, and a team from the ministry headed to Irbid Governorate and met with nine young people who started a march from the northern city to Amman. 

The ministry’s personnel, according to Khatib, offered them help to land them jobs in the private sector according to their specialisations and skills, but they “refused even to go into a dialogue with the officials” and insisted to reach Amman for the purpose of meeting with the jobseekers coming from Aqaba to demonstrate solidarity with them.

Khatib pointed out that Menwar Abul Ghanam, the ministry’s inspection director, accompanied by a number of staff members, headed to Madaba for on similar mission but found that “there were no marches planned by unemployed youth”.

Khatib stressed that the Ministry of Labour’s employment offices are open for all the Jordanian youth to provide professional and career guidance services, and engage them with potential employers in the private sector, adding that the ministry spares no effort to provide all forms of support to Jordanian youth through training programmes that end up with with employment. 

He called on job seekers to access the national e-employment system “”, register their information on the website and view the available jobs opportunities or directly visit the employment offices to learn about the available job opportunities.

Khatib also called on the youth to benefit from the training and employment programmes announced by the ministry such as the “National Service” programme, which trains subscribers on vocational skills demanded in the labour market. 

He stressed that opportunities are still available to all in order to benefit from the national employment framework, which will provide 30,000 jobs for young people this year in a number of sectors such as tourism, services, industry, construction, health, communications and agriculture. 

The official echoed statements by Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, who met with a group of young Jordanian on Wednesday, telling them that the government was following up on the jobless marches and was urging participants to accept jobs in the private sector, a Prime Ministry statement said. 

The Labour ministry urged Jordanian youth to consider setting up SMEs that provide good income through concessional loans granted by the Development and Employment Fund in various governorates. 

In a related development, a social media campaign is currently gaining momentum, where activities on social media platforms, called on the jobless youth in Karak Governorate to set off on a protest march from Karak to Amman and demand to be employed in government companies, institutions and departments.

Last Tuesday, the ASEZA issued a statement on the issue of young jobseekers heading to Amman on a foot march to obtain jobs at institutions and companies operating in Aqaba.

The ASEZA affirmed in the statement, carried by Petra that it has established the private sector training and employment directorate to build a database of unemployed individuals and jobseekers within the private sector’s various institutions. 

The ASEZA said it is working with private sector companies and institutions on training courses that aim at qualifying the youth to take up the increasing number of jobs in non-government industries.

The number of jobseekers who have been hired by the private sector companies between the end of 2016 and last January was 3,109, of whom 1,656 were hired in 2018. Meanwhile, the number of jobseekers registered in the ASEZA’s database has reached 4,471, according to the statement.

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