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Three-year programme to hone ICT students’ skills in electronic design

By Mohammad Ghazal - Apr 09,2015 - Last updated at Apr 09,2015

AMMAN — The USAID Jordan Competitiveness Programme (JCP) and Intel Corporation on Thursday launched a programme to foster Jordanian ICT students and professionals in electronic design.

The three-year programme, which seeks to support education and entrepreneurship in Jordan’s science and technology sector, entails providing 1,500 hardware development kits to Jordanian universities and technical training to students in preparation for careers in technology.

As part of the public-private partnership, a support network will be put in place by the JCP to enable students to find jobs, according to the organisers.

The programme aims at equipping ICT students with skills to compete in the ICT sector as the “Internet of Things” is creating new business opportunities and requires a new set of skills.

With this project, USAID said it seeks to support the economic development of Jordan, create jobs and support innovation.

“Jordan is an oasis of stability in spite of the surroundings in the region. To expand such stability, it is critical to continue to realise economic growth,” Lewis Tatem, USAID deputy mission director, said at the launch of the project.

Beneficiaries will be trained on Intel’s Galileo and Edison technologies, which will equip them with the skills businesses need amidst an increasing connectivity of things to the Internet, as some 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020.

Jordan’s IT exports reach more than 45 countries; 70 per cent of Arabic content on the web comes from Jordan, and the Kingdom has a large pool of talented, educated and skilled engineers, which is key to continued growth in the ICT sector, said Tatem. 

The sector contributes some 12 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product.

ICT Minister Majd Shweikeh stressed the essential role  the programme plays in boosting student skills, noting that ongoing development of skills is fundamental to expand the ICT industry and increase its competitiveness.

Shweikeh highlighted several programmes the ministry is implementing to facilitate employability of ICT students and stressed that the government will continue to work on such projects.

Wissam Rabadi, USAID JCP chief of party, said the programme will help employ ICT graduates, annually estimated at 6,000.

“To make students competitive in the ICT world, providing students with the necessary skills in the rapidly changing sector will help them be competitive and this programme will help meet this objective,” said Rabadi.

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