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Queen Rania checks on youth entrepreneurship project

By JT - Feb 23,2014 - Last updated at Feb 23,2014

AMMAN — Her Majesty Queen Rania visited Zarqa University College on Sunday and met with young Jordanians taking part in the Youth Entrepreneurship and Employability Project "Sanad", which is implemented by the Business Development Centre (BDC).

At one of the college's halls, Queen Rania dropped in on the "Know about Business" session attended by students from different faculties and a number of graduates from the Sanad project, according to a statement from Her Majesty's office.

The Queen listened to BDC CEO Nayef Stetieh as he gave a brief presentation about the project and its partnership with Balqa Applied University, which serves as an umbrella for a number of colleges in Jordan, including Zarqa University College in Zarqa Governorate, some 22km east of Amman.

Stetieh explained that Sanad was launched last year in collaboration with the Canadian International Development Agency to improve Jordan's economy by increasing employment opportunities and promoting entrepreneurship amongst youths. 

The programme also aims to build partnerships between the private sector and community colleges across the Kingdom, as well as hone the skills of students and graduates of vocational schools and community colleges in order to improve their employment opportunities.

Throughout the next five years, this project will benefit 25 vocational schools, six community colleges, 150 vocational school teachers, 150 community college professors and a total of 18,000 young male and female Jordanians, according to the statement.

The project also provides training for teachers working at vocational schools and community colleges, and hosts workshops to educate parents and private sector representatives on the role of women and graduates in the labour market.

Queen Rania had the chance to listen to students talk about their experiences as participants in the programme and how that helped them gain new skills and improve existing ones in accordance with the current needs of the job market. 

Students also talked about how the project provided them with guidance on starting their own businesses.

During the session — attended by Balqa Applied University President Nabil Shawagfeh, Canadian Ambassador to Jordan Bruno Saccomani, and Zarqa University College Dean Monther Krishan — Queen Rania said the skills young people gain through this programme help them keep up with job market demands and, ultimately, fulfil their dreams.

She also noted that the project must help youths create new job opportunities and not aid in finding them, adding that parents also play a very important role in the process, according to the statement.

Her Majesty then joined parents attending an awareness session about gender sensitivity titled "Women’s role and its importance in the labour market". 

Attendees told the Queen that this project helped open new doors for their children.

The session was also attended by teachers from various community colleges and vocational schools who had attended the training of trainers "Know about Business" workshops. 

The teachers stressed that the skills they acquired helped them motivate their students and unleash their potential in a way that best suits the job market.

The BDC is a non-profit organisation that provides programmes targeting young people and focusing on entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, local economic development and training of trainers. 

Through its Maharat Internship Programme, the centre has benefited 14,000 graduates from across the Kingdom and helped them find employment opportunities.

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