The agro-food sector can become an essential source of growth, employment, and entrepreneurship for Jordan's economy. However, to reach the potential and align with modern agro-food chains, it needs well-educated, passionate young entrepreneurs and employees. Skilled young people are also essential for meeting the labor market’s needs.
Last week, two vocational schools from Jordan and companies from the private sector met to discuss how they could create partnerships to benefit the industry, students, and schools.
This meeting was organized by the Jordanian Agricultural Engineering’s Association (JAEA) in collaboration with HollandDoor, as part of a 2-year Nuffic-funded Orange Knowledge program. The aim is to strengthen the expertise and capacity of Jordan's agro-food sector.
Several speakers gave presentations at JAEA’s training center, which were followed by lively discussions. Officials from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of Agriculture, and JAEA's board opened the event. Dr Reem Alkhader, Country manager, and regional representative of Nuffic, clearly established the importance of investing in this younger generation's capacity and skills.
Gert-Jan Duives of HAS University of Applied Sciences explained exactly what competencies, skills, and mindset the future generation of farmers and employees will need. He also stressed the importance of forging partnerships between education and the “world of work” and how schools and industry can establish these partnerships.
Engelie Beenen of HollandDoor emphasized the importance of engaging and inspiring young students to pursue opportunities in the agro-food sector. Developments are moving rapidly, especially in increasingly important areas such as technology, data, sustainability, food safety, waste reduction and collaboration. The young generation is sorely needed as it will provide our future food producers.
Linking education and industry is needed to understand these developments and enhance the appeal of vocational education. The first partnerships have already been sealed following presentations by the participating companies and both involved schools. Some of the planned activities include guest lectures, trials, internships, and joint projects.
The participating schools in this innovative initiative are the Al-Zamalieh school in the province of Irbid and Al Farook school in Ma'addi.
Both schools' teachers and principals are investing a great deal of time and effort to strengthen their teaching programs. The aim is to improve employment opportunities for their students and bolster agro-sector innovations.
Companies interested in this program are invited to contact: