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Programme to equip ICT graduates with employability skills

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jul 06,2014 - Last updated at Jul 06,2014

AMMAN — As almost half of ICT university students graduate with degrees in majors that have “very limited” job opportunities, the ICT Association of Jordan ([email protected]) is working on a programme to boost graduates’ skills and enhance their employability.

The programme, which [email protected] is organising with several partners, entails measuring the skills of ICT graduates, getting feedback from the private sector on what is in demand and working on filling the gaps in these skills.

“The programme will include training ICT graduates on certain skills that companies need when hiring. It also includes raising awareness among university graduates on the skills needed in the labour market,” Jawad Abbassi, chairman of [email protected], told The Jordan Times on Sunday.

“Via the programme, the association will also be able to determine points of weakness and issues that need to be focused on by academia, and then it will give this feedback to the universities, which will eventually work on enhancing the skills they teach to students to meet labour market demands,” he added.

The country’s ICT sector, which employs about 16,000 people in direct jobs, representing 1.2 per cent of the country’s workforce, contributes about 14 per cent annually to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product, according to [email protected]

The project will play an important role in increasing the employability of ICT graduates, Abbassi said, adding that 6,000 students graduate annually with ICT-related degrees, 3,000 of whom find jobs while the rest remain unemployed or work abroad.

“The project is a win-win situation for all. Students will find it easier to get jobs and companies will not go through the hassle of looking for skills they need,” he noted.

A report issued by [email protected] in 2013 showed that about 5,869 university students graduated with ICT majors, about 44 per cent of whom are specialised in the least important ICT sectors including accounting, management and business information systems, in addition to electronic and telecom engineering.

According to the 2012 ICT Workforce Assessment Survey, 40 per cent of ICT employers said it was difficult to find ICT graduates majoring in software engineering in the market.

Some 37 per cent of the companies said it was difficult to find graduates with majors in computer science; another 37 per cent said it was hard to find university students majoring in computer information systems; while 30 per cent said it was not easy to find information system engineering graduates, which are the top five ICT majors crucial for local businesses in the sector with high potential for employment, according to the study.

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