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INJAZ boosts youth employability in four governorates with hands-on training

[10-01-2021 02:39 PM]

Ammon News - Armed with a new set of skills that help them navigate a crowded labour market, a group of young people, job coaches and host entities from Karak, Balqa, Tafileh and Madaba governorates shared their “rewarding experiences” from the Youth Participation and Employment project (YPE) delivered by INJAZ, a local non-profit in Jordan.

The project’s beneficiaries said that the YPE programme had enhanced their employability by expanding their knowledge and skills in various areas — related and not related to their majors — and encouraged them to engage in varied tasks from office to field, according to an INJAZ statement.

Representatives of private sector companies, civil society institutions and non-profit organisations and associations said that the YPE project helped them train on human capital development and a number of youth had secured jobs after the completion of the training programme, implemented by the international non-governmental organisation, Oxfam.

Taqwa, a Madaba resident, benefitted from the project’s fellowship programme. After completing a three-day training at INJAZ, Taqwa became eligible and was chosen for employment at Al Aqsa Charitable Organisation in the governorate, where she began training on July 1, 2019, according to the statement

“The first three months at the organisation were dedicated for training, and afterwards we were treated as actual employees who know the ins and outs,” Taqwa was quoted in the statement as saying.

She noted that her training focused on office tasks and field work, including accounting assignments and communication with the local community for various charitable projects in the governorate.

“I personally enjoyed humanitarian volunteer work more than working at the office, such as distributing packages and financial aid to people, and also supervising and coordinating workshops held by the organisation,” Taqwa said.

Hamzah Alemeilat, from Tafileh, also benefitted from the fellowship programme, and trained at Afaq Association for Human Development, where he handled financial matters and helped organise activities and programmes, working from June of 2019 until mid-March of 2020 when the COVID-19 crisis started in Jordan.

“I am still working with Afaq on a freelance basis in the training area, so I am still benefitting from the programme and gaining experience,” he said in the statement.

In another segment of the YPE project, people with disabilities are trained for five months at one of the entities. In the first three months, they are accompanied by a job coach, and in the last two months they underwent training unaided.

Wafa’a Zaghamim, a Tafileh resident with a movement disability, trained at INJAZ for one week, after which she was among the selected for the five-month training. After the completion of training, she went to the Women Tafileh Association, where she started her career as a translator and an editor.

“The experience was wonderful, and the programme catered to each person with regard to their disability regardless of their academic score. So even those with low academic performance but with a vocational passion have found something to work with, such as fixing phones for example,” Zaghamim said in the statement, noting that the interest and hobbies of youth mattered in where they went to work.

Studying at university helped minimise the challenges she faced, Zaghamim said, noting that the job coach had helped her and taken care of her, ensuring her safety and smooth workflow. By the third month of training, Zaghamim said, she was able to carry out the tasks unaided, and the coach would only be present a couple times per week for a few hours.

“My work was not limited to language, we worked as a team and did tasks together, most prominently data entry, and I even worked as a facilitator once for a task outside the association, and these varied experiences made me very happy,” Zaghamim was quoted in the statement as saying.

She added that she was about to be employed for a project after the programme was over, but the only hurdle that prevented it was the coronavirus crisis, especially in regard to closures.

Fatma Alsaqarat, a job coach who lives in Tafileh, has a BA in Special Education and MA in Psychology, and worked with INJAZ to train and prepare people with disabilities for the job market.

“I, alongside other coaches, took workshops for a week on human and labour rights as well as dealing with people with disabilities within the programme, and after tests some of us were picked to be paired with a person with disability for the programme,” Alsaqarat said in the statement.

The person Alsaqarat accompanied was majored in finance and banking. At first she was appointed as a teacher in a kindergarten, but after realising the job was not compatible with her skills, Alsaqarat helped her transfer to the Snowball Academy, where she worked as a human resources administrator.

“Throughout our work, we were also trained on how to write reports and draft them with graphs to evaluate performance, which I used to help my companion overcome her dependency on others and handle her job and work on her own. I still checked on her by phone in the last two months after my role finished,” Alsaqarat said, noting that they were both offered positions at the academy, but the pandemic prevented the process as well.

Nour Arabiyat, from the city of Salt in Balqa Governorate, had trained for three days with INJAZ and was then sent to train at Wasel Jo, which she said was initially located in Salt but later moved to Amman.

“I trained from September to December of 2020, and I was given assignments related and unrelated to my major: Improving my communication with clients and my work superiors, and enhancing my work under pressure, and increasing my accounting experience with the head accountant at the company,” Arabiyat said in the statement, noting that she used the company’s accounting system and executed varied tasks in the field.

Once the training period ended, Arabiyat received a contract from the company, which she said is a step forward to integrate into the job market and achieve financial independence.

“This beautiful and successful experience with INJAZ provided me with new knowledge and expertise, connected me with employers and it will be there for my aid in the future,” Arabiyat said, urging young people, especially fresh graduates, to apply to the YPE programme and similar projects to gain the necessary professional experience.

Monther Alkhreshah, head of the Institute for Family Health, a project of Nour Al Hussein Foundation in Karak, said that they had hosted a number of fresh graduates and utilised their skills based on their majors, according to the statement.

“If the beneficiaries majored in medicine, nursing or nutrition, we would send them to the medical department of the institute, to be trained by the specialists there,” Alkhreshah said, adding that some had vocational interests and found a place as well.

Alkhreshah highlighted the benefits of projects like the YPE in providing fresh graduates with experiences necessary for employment, noting that many advertisements stipulate youth to have existing experience to apply for jobs.

The trainees remained at the institute for three to six months, obtaining professional experience and honing their skills, Alkhreshah said.

“This helped get rid of demotivating factors in fresh graduates and improved their productivity, creating a second line of trained individuals who can be dependable at any time they are needed,” he added.

For his part, Hashem Masarweh, executive director of Shabab42 Foundation in Madaba, said that the non-profit organisation develops youth’s capabilities to harness sustainability tools and aid development in the governorate.

The three-year-old foundation utilises its projects to train youth in Madaba, with a focus on fresh graduates.

“Through our partnership with INJAZ, we started off with training the beneficiaries on time management, job seeking, CV creation and such. We give them orientation to see where they would like to be and what they want to do, whether in training, coordination or assisting, and then we show them how we do our tasks and deal with the local community,” Masarweh was quoted in the statement as saying.

The beneficiaries work six days per week for eight hours a day, which Masarweh described as an investment in human capital, as they do not plan on bidding them farewell after the project, but rather wish to hire some of them as official employees during January of 2021.

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