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National Service programme to run past initial timeframe

By JT - Jul 19,2019 - Last updated at Jul 19,2019

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz attends the launch of the ‘National Service’ programme in June 2019 (Petra file photo)

AMMAN — Labour Minister Nidal Bataineh on Thursday revealed that the National Service programme to provide vocational training for Jordanian youth will extend for a total of six months — three months beyond its initial planned duration.

During a meeting with the Senate's Labour and Social Development Committee, Bataineh said that the first month of the programme will include military training, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Participants in the programme will then continue their training at ministry-affiliated vocational training centres across the Kingdom before joining a two-month internship at expected work sites, Bataineh added. 

Options for employment will include six opportunities in the private sector, an option to join a security apparatus and an opportunity for a public sector job in coordination with the Civil Service Bureau. 

The minister said that there is also an action plan in place in cooperation with various stakeholders to reduce the number of guest workers in Jordan, replacing them with a newly trained and rehabilitated local workforce over the course of three years.

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz first launched the National Service programme in January, which aims at supporting the national economy and supplying the market with qualified young personnel while also aligning the vocational and technical outputs of Jordan’s education systems with the needs of the labour market.

Razzaz had previously stated that the programme is an integral part of the government’s plans to reduce unemployment and poverty rates, calling on the private sector “to keep an eye on the skilful graduates”.

The programme provides interns with a JD100 monthly allowance, a daily meal and medical insurance in cases of work-related injuries, as well as coverage for transportation fees, uniform costs and the issuance of a professional licence by the Centre of Accreditation and Quality Control.

During the meeting, head of the Senate panel Senator Sawsan Majali raised a number of questions on issues related to employment, guest workers and plans to enhance vocational and technical training, expressing her concern about the 19 per cent unemployment rate. 

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