The Ministry of Labour announced on Sunday through a statement made available on its website the issuance of new labor regulations aimed at creating employment opportunities for Jordanian youth through the dismissal of foreign labor by 2024.
In the statement, Minister of Labour Nidal Bataineh called attention to the importance of providing new job opportunities to young people in various sectors, expressing the Ministry's keenness to reduce unemployment and encourage the hiring of local workers instead of foreign workers through concerted action plans and programs aimed at regulating the Jordanian job market.
Bataineh also noted that various regulations may contradict the interests of some. However, the outcome will be geared towards promoting national interests, he said, adding that the ministry is “fully aware” of the need for foreigners in various sectors that some locals refuse to work in.
The statement also listed professions that are closed to foreign labor and those that are only available for non-Jordanians who are specialized in specific sectors, as well as those that must employ a certain percentage of Jordanians.
Following the announcement, economic experts called on the government to find optimal solutions for the Kingdom's economic situation.
"The government is responsible for creating new labor opportunities in order to keep the local market stable, which entails finding appropriate mechanisms to upgrade the economic process and further develop the outcomes," Economist Husam Ayesh told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.
He added that low minimum wages, which have increased in recent years, in addition to a lack of employee career development in terms of “salary, position and self-esteem” have led to widespread unemployment.
The Labour Ministry's main objective is to combat unemployment with the aim of achieving sustainable economic activity, Ayesh noted, adding that while the dismissal of foreign labor may bring some satisfactory results, it will incur additional costs.
"The dismissal of expatriate workers is just part of the equation, and the optimal solution is to improve economic performance through increasing investments in Jordan and doubling productivity by providing jobs that fit graduates' skills," he added.
Policies should be oriented towards the regulation of the employment market through improving working terms and conditions, which have so far proven to be "challenging" and "indecent" for both Jordanians and non-Jordanians, Director of the Phenix Centre for Economic Studies Ahmad Awad told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.
"A tangible outcome will be achieved in regard to employment, not by chasing down foreign labor but by bringing qualitative change in coordination with all sectors of economic activity," Awad noted.
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