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EBRD, SECO boost skills in Jordan’s energy sector

By JT - May 29,2024 - Last updated at May 29,2024

The EBRD is promoting an inclusive energy sector in Jordan by setting up an apprenticeship scheme for young professionals (Photo courtesy of EBRD)

AMMAN — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is promoting an inclusive energy sector in Jordan by setting up an apprenticeship scheme for young professionals aspiring to a career in the energy sector, according to a statement for The Jordan Times.  

Funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the EBRD has worked with Hussein Technical University and the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) Electrical Training Centre to develop the scheme.

The apprenticeship offers young people on-the-job training to aid their transition from education into employment, and is delivered to students under the umbrella of HTU’s electrical engineering and energy engineering degrees, according to the statement.

The first 32 students have already completed the eight-month apprenticeship, which focuses on electrical power systems and comprised three months of technical instruction and five months of on-the-job rotations at NEPCO’s field sites.

The EBRD previously supported NEPCO in 2021 with a $100 million financing package to help the company address working capital constraints by replacing short-term debt financing borrowed at the peak of the Covid-19 crisis.

This partnership is within the framework of the EBRD’s country strategy for Jordan 2020-25 that promotes economic inclusion as its first priority, including through improved vocational training for women and youth. The apprenticeship scheme also implements the EBRD’s Memorandum of Understanding with the university, signed in 2022, that focuses on promoting access to skills in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics sectors.

A closing event was held for the apprenticeship on electrical power systems and was attended by Gretchen Biery, EBRD head of the Eastern Mediterranean region, Emilija Georgieva, ambassador of Switzerland to Jordan, Amjad Rawashdeh, general manager of NEPCO, Dr Ismael Al Hinti, president of HTU, and Lutfi Al Sharif, vice president of HTU.

NEPCO is the key actor in the Jordanian energy sector as it owns and operates the electricity transmission system. It has been at the heart of Jordan’s renewable energy transition, using private capital and skills to unlock the country’s wind and solar resources, the statement said.

Since 2012, the EBRD has provided more than 2 billion euros through 71 projects in Jordan, of which 71 per cent are in the private sector, including financial support to the Jordanian banking sector through loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, subordinated debt and trade finance facilities.

 

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