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Vocational training ‘presents alternative path to success’, answer to unemployment

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Aug 09,2023 - Last updated at Aug 09,2023

Representative image (Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Jeswin Thomas)

AMMAN — As the date of Tawjihi (the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination) results approaches, there is a growing push to include vocational training majors in the education system to combat post-graduation unemployment.

Around 120,000 students across the nation are eagerly awaiting their Tawjihi results, which will be released in less than two weeks. The Jordan Times reached out to various experts to discuss the importance of acquiring vocational skills as a means to bolster students’ individual career prospects and foster economic growth.

Muhannad Al Khatib, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, revealed to The Jordan Times that approximately 70,000 students graduate from local universities annually. 

With the unemployment rate ranging between 20 and 23 per cent, and the rising issue of unreported employment, experts emphasised to The Jordan Times the necessity of vocational training and skill acquisition to effectively address these challenges.

Jameel Qadi, spokesperson for the Vocational Training Corporation (VTC), highlighted that vocational training courses are pivotal in meeting market demand and foster accessible employment avenues for graduates. 

“The urge for vocational training courses stems from the realisation that traditional academic pathways might not be sufficient in adequately preparing students for industry-specific demands,” Qadi highlighted.

Qadi added that vocational training is designed to equip individuals with hands-on experience, fostering practical skills that have real-world applications in the workforce, and can bridge the gap between education and employment.

Mohammad Qasim, head of training at a hospitality sector facility, underscored that a significant advantage of vocational training is its potential to address skills shortages in the job market.

“The hospitality sector is grappling with brain drain, while recent graduates are dissatisfied with the lack of employment opportunities. Closing this gap is beneficial for youth and the hospitality sector,” Qasim emphasised.

Numerous industries, including hospitality, require specialised skills that conventional classroom education alone cannot fully cultivate, Qasim explained.

Vocational courses teach soft skills, culinary arts, services and technical expertise, among others, Qasim highlighted. 

“This targeted training can expedite entry into the workforce and potentially elevate employment rates,” said Qasim, adding that its integration into the educational system can also bolster economic progress and cultivate a more capable and adaptable workforce.

Education expert Gladis Baho told  The Jordan Times that vocational training courses provide a diverse spectrum of choices for students with specific learning interests and career aspirations.

“Not every student is suited for an academic track; vocational courses present an alternative path to success,” Baho added, concluding that, by embracing vocational training, educational institutions can effectively cater to the needs and preferences of a broader range of students.

 

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