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'Programme to create 750 professional internships in two years'

By JT - May 09,2016 - Last updated at May 09,2016

AMMAN — The Jordan Education for Employment (JEFE) initiative said Monday it has completed the first four of a set of skill-building workshops aimed at placing 750 Jordanian students and fresh graduates in professional internships related to their field of study. 

The two-year effort is being supported by a grant from the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Programme (USAID JCP), a JEFE statement said.

“The road from graduation to gainful employment can sometimes be long,” said JEFE CEO Ghadeer Khuffash. “But it doesn’t have to be.”

Khuffash added that many young job-seekers still rely too heavily on word of mouth and referrals to land their first career opportunity, a strategy that limits their prospects. 

Instead, she said that a suite of online tools — combined with the know-how to craft a compelling resume and interview pitch — can give candidates the distinction they need in an increasingly merit-based job market.

That is why JEFE is partnering with some of Jordan’s "leading recruiters" and private-sector firms to help programme participants seek — and find — jobs in their interest areas, the statement said. 

The programme’s inaugural workshop, for example, was led by a representative of online jobs portal Akhtaboot, which has more than 5,000 registered employers in its database. 

With that kind of reach, the site’s “Career-Connect” function gives candidates a way to upload and share their resumes with hundreds of potential employers — all at once, the statement said.

But introducing students and recent graduates to the latest technology is not enough, the statement quoted Khitam Farah, a workforce development expert at USAID JCP, as saying. 

“Our partnership with JEFE also includes essential ‘soft skills’ training, which will help a candidate translate what recruiters see online into what they see and hear in an interview.”

By fostering competitiveness in the private sector and the creation of quality jobs, USAID JCP aims to stimulate economic activity in "high-growth sectors", such as clean technology, ICT, and healthcare. 

 

As part of its partnership with JEFE, the programme has placed a premium on recruiting interns from throughout Jordan, including governorates outside Amman where the ratio of graduates to jobs is especially high, the statement added. 

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