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Hybrid Vehicle Repair Is the Driving Force of Jordan Youth Employment Program

Published 12/04/2014 by Global Communities


Hybrid Vehicle Repair Is the Driving Force of Jordan Youth Employment Program
Youth unemployment in the Middle East remains the highest in the world. In 2012, the International Labor Organization estimated that 28% of Middle East and North Africa (MENA)youth were unemployed, with 30% of young women not working. While youth-focused training programs do exist in the region, many of them produce a significant number of graduates who still cannot find jobs, leading to increasing frustration and disillusionment.
Global Communities and the Caterpillar Foundation worked together to create a program that would train youth for available jobs. The game-changing feature of the Middle East North Africa Youth Empowerment Strategy (MENA-YES) is that it involves the private sector from the beginning, in partnership with training providers and Global Communities. The private sector advises in four key ways: it identifies industries needing trained employees, provides guidance on curriculum, participates in trainee selection, and, in some cases, provides internships.
Because of the private sector involvement, MENA-YES has uncovered some surprising opportunities. For example, Jordanian drivers are increasingly turning to hybrid cars to save money at the pump. But the increase in these vehicles has resulted in a shortage of another vital resource: trained mechanics. Once this opportunity was identified, Global Communities reached out to the Arabic Community College to create a curriculum based on its auto mechanic program. An advisory committee of auto dealers, mechanics, and manufacturers gave feedback on the curriculum.
The program was launched with four months of training on the technical aspects of hybrid cars as well as general business principles. The course is followed by two months of on-the-job training with partners, providing valuable experience and opportunities for potential employment. ;Additional trainings are scheduled. In addition to hybrid vehicle repair, MENA-YES in Jordan has successfully partnered with the private sector on opportunities in the information and communication technologies and media sectors, and the hospitality and tourism fields.
By actively engaging with local industry, Global Communities and the Caterpillar Foundation are building partnerships that provide youth in the Middle East with what they need most: the chance to forge their economic futures. In turn, the private sector obtains highly motivated employees who have been trained in the technical and social skills needed to succeed.