With a view to encourage women to participate in the labor market, Ministry of Labor (MoL), NCFA and the Employment, Technical and Vocational Education Training (E-TVET) Fund signed a cooperation agreement to implement the "Support and Activation of the Establishment of Nurseries in the Public and Private Sectors" Project.
The project is one of the National Strategy for Employment's implemented projects under which a new program for creation, training and employment will be implemented to create new work opportunities for the Jordanian labor force after training and qualifying them; the program will include several new employment projects in all sectors.
The agreement signed by the Minister of Labor, Head of the E-TVET, Ali Al-Ghazawi, NCFA Secretary General Fadel AL-Hmoud and the Acting Director General of (E-TVET) Eng. Mohammad Al-Shuqairat aims to establish nurseries within the ministries, institutions and government departments in the public sector in addition to private sector institutions. It also aims to create work opportunities for women job seekers from Civil Service Bureau applicant lists to be employed within these nurseries.
Minister of Labor emphasized that the Ministry is working to assert the rights of women and working mothers stipulated in law such as Article (72) of the Labor Law which stipulates the need to provide nurseries for working mothers at their work places, adding that new criteria for nurseries have been accredited through a legal committee formed for this purpose. The agreement, as Al-Ghazawi stressed, puts effect to this article.
The MoL is moving forward with its partners making every effort to remove all obstacles that hinder women's participation in the workforce; they have collaboratively taken all measures to implement the recently endorsed “flexible working hours by-law for 2017” which basically serves working women, added Al-Ghazawi, noting that the Ministry has given great interest to raising public knowledge on the importance of women employment, has restricted certain professions to Jordanians only, particularly those that appeal to women more and has conducted several studies on the reasons behind women withdrawal from medium and small-sized companies.
Through the national employment strategy, the government has allocated a maximum of 4.5 million JOD to establish 300 nurseries within the schools of the Ministry of Education, and will grant special incentives for the service sector (nursery caregivers) of about 100% of the minimum wage and pay the work owner's percentage sum from the social security for a period of one year; this will provide more than 1500 work opportunities for job seekers particularly in jobs that are of low demand, added Al-Ghazawi, stressing that these government measures are in continuation of a series of measures taken by the government ever since it was formed to provide work opportunities for Jordanians under the theme "Self-employment instead of hiring".
There is another signed agreement with NCFA to establish 80 nurseries in public and private institutions which will provide more than 1000 job opportunity, said Al-Ghazawi.
On his part, NCFA Secretary-General Fadel AL-Hmoud indicated that the signing comes in implementation of the National Employment Strategy launched by the government, supplementing a previous agreement signed between the two parties to establish 80 public and private sector nurseries, noting that the national program demonstrates a model for collaborative work between public and civil organizations and the private sector.
Al-Hmoud pointed out that NCFA seeks to make these nurseries a nucleus for a specialized early childhood center serving children in accordance with state-of-the-art teaching programs and providing training opportunities for graduates specialized in childhood education, making it also a center for early childhood studies. According to Al-Hmoud, (14) institutional nurseries have been established; (202) girls from the Civil Service Bureau lists have been trained and qualified on early childhood skills and nursery work in the governorates of Amman, Ma'an and Irbid; and (59) job opportunities have been provided for females in the established nurseries.
The goals of establishing the nurseries are to increase the percentage of women's participation in the workforce, increase their available work options by eliminating obstacles, providing flexible opportunities and suitable work environment, strengthening the capacities of nursery workers, establishing safe and child-appropriate locations for the nurseries in line with international standards and providing job opportunities for female diploma and bachelor's degree holders in specialties related to childhood from the Civil Service Bureau applicant lists, added Al-Hmoud.