International Development Secretary announces UK aid package to help young Jordanians into work. 

The UK will equip young Jordanians with English language and job skills such as leadership, critical thinking, and problem solving, to help them better compete in the global economy, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced on 28 February.

With 68% of Jordanians being under 30 years old and 40% of those aged 15 to 24 unemployed, there is a risk of a generation of young people being locked out of up and coming sectors.

The UK has pledged to support Jordan’s plans to reform its economy and boost jobs for its young population.

Today’s package, announced in London at ‘Jordan: Growth and Opportunity, The London Initiative’, will support a series of programmes by the UK Government, through UK aid, and the British Council aimed at upskilling both Jordanians and Syrian refugees. This will help them to gain employment in growing sectors such as IT, renewable energy, logistics and tourism.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

Jordan is a country rich in human talent. But while much of its workforce is young and highly educated, many still lack the specific skills to work in booming sectors such as IT and renewable energy. UK aid will provide young Jordanians with the essential skills needed to join the workforce, strengthen the economy and help their country become self-sufficient. This includes helping them to learn English, a powerful tool in the world of international business. This is Global Britain at its best, using British expertise to pass on skills to Jordan’s workforce, making it an even more attractive place for British businesses to invest, and giving the UK a stronger, more prosperous ally in the Middle East.

The package demonstrates a cross-government approach to supporting Jordan with expertise and funding from a range of departments and institutions, including:

  • a DFID programme, Skills for Development which is still under design, will assist 200,000 young people to gain English and workplace skills, improve training for 6,000 English language teachers and increase access to English learning materials;

  • British Council projects to give marginalised communities access to English Language courses through community centres, launch an online learning platform to teach English for the workplace and provide 5,000 apprenticeships and internships to help young Jordanians enter the workplace;

  • build a partnership between the Prince’s Trust and Jordan’s Crown Prince Foundation;

  • further DFID support to UNICEF to address the urgent needs of children not enrolled in any kind of education, and improve the quality of education received; and

  • a new partnership between the Government of UK and Jordan, which will help drive up education standards, develop a strategy for better use of technology in schools, and help evaluate Jordan’s school inspections.

In her speech at the conference, the International Development Secretary will also acknowledge the tremendous generosity Jordan has shown by hosting 670,000 registered Syrian refugees, despite facing its own economic challenges. To help lessen the burden, and bolster international efforts, the UK will support 22,000 Syrian refugees by providing cash to buy food, clothes and other essentials.

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