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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King attends launch of campaign for 18,000 jobs
Amman, 13 January 2013

His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday attended a ceremony to launch the National Employment Campaign, which is aimed at providing 18,000 job opportunities.

The government will implement the initiative, which will run under the title “We Are All Partners,” involving more than 120 public sector institutions.

As of Sunday, the Labour Ministry, through its offices across the country, started receiving applications from job-seekers wishing to benefit from the employment campaign, which will send them to jobs in the wholesale, retail, transport, storage, communications, construction and hospitality sectors.

In his address at the event, which was also attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan and Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour as well as senior government officials and representative from the private sector, Labour Minister Nidal Katamine said campaign beneficiaries will be offered social security coverage and health insurance.

Katamine added that they will also be provided with a satisfactory monthly income that should help them secure a decent living and stable income.

“The campaign includes two parts; the first will be direct employment for skilled workers, while the second part will consist of offering applicants jobs while training them in the workplace,” Katamine said.

He noted that the jobs will be in sectors that have priority in demand based on labour market studies.

“This campaign is being implemented as part of the government’s National Employment Strategy, which was launched last June with the objective of creating thousands of jobs for unemployed Jordanians,” the minister said at the ceremony on Sunday.

He stressed that the “culture of shame”, which refers to the perception that Jordanians tend to reject jobs in certain professions, no longer exists, adding that this has encouraged the ministry, in cooperation with the private sector, to find jobs for both genders in professions that are considered key pillars of the national economy.

Katamine said the ministry’s meetings with civil society institutions and employers resulted in several agreements under which employers are to provide 18,000 jobs locally, in addition to further regional jobs.

“The ‘We Are All Partners’ campaign comes at a time when the number of job-seekers is on the rise and has become a real challenge to the economy and social life in the Kingdom,” he stressed.

According to the ministry’s official figures, some 34 per cent of the population are of working age, 40.5 per cent of whom reside in the capital.

The ministry’s statistics also showed that unemployment rate has reached 12.9 per cent — 11 per cent among males and 21.2 per cent among females — taking into account that more than 600,000 foreign labourers are working in the Kingdom.

Jordan’s main private companies and employers were represented at the ceremony and offered an overview of their recruitment policy and efforts to provide more opportunities to local job-seekers. The Manaseer Group, McDonald’s and the Jordan Clothing Company were amongst the speakers.

Sharing their stories with the audience, some workers explained how they accepted jobs despite the long distance from home and the social and cultural challenges because those jobs provided them with a stable income to support their families.

The event concluded with a theatrical performance by the Street Theatre troupe.

Senate President Taher Masri, Royal Court Chief Riyadh Abu Karaki and His Majesty’s Office Director Imad Fakhoury also attended the ceremony.