In this paper we address the issue of out-migration of Jordanian youth, which has consistently been noteworthy. We consider the factors that influence the decision-making processes of Jordanian youth regarding migration in a way that consciously takes individualistic motivations into consideration while attempting to recognize certain patterns and commonalities among this specific age cohort. Within this analysis, we recognize the ways that young people are often reduced to either a ‘resource’ that must be mobilized or taken advantage of, or a social hazard that is to be placated and controlled. We also look into opportunities for growth by analysing existing gaps that relate to youth and migration such as unemployment and recognize the considerable mismatch between skills gained in academia and the needs of the labor market. Further, we look into the ways that prolonged periods out of education and employment, and difficult transitions from education to work, can further increase youth exclusion and frustration while also considering social and cultural elements of exclusion, with specific attention to gender.
Many factors influence the decisions – or desires – of young Jordanians with regard to migration. It is important to focus on structural changes that directly influence the well-being of youth. Ultimately, we believe that the opportunity to close the gap between what young people want and what they lack is present and requires studying and analysing the problems of disadvantaged youth with the goal to ultimately develop evidence-based policies.