Formalizing access to the legal labour market through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and certification for Syrians and Jordanians working in the construction, confectionary and garment sectors

The project aims to help tens of thousands of Syrian and Jordanian workers access formal employment and decent work in targeted governorates in Jordan, through skills development and accreditation.


The presence of Syrian refugees in Jordan’s informal economy has contributed to the segmentation of the labour market, with many refugees willing to work under exploitative conditions due to lack of better options.

This has affected wages and working conditions of not only Syrians, but Jordanians as well. This effect is particularly pronounced among young Jordanian workers and women. Hence, the formalisation of Syrian refugee employment will prevent the further deterioration of wages and working conditions for workers in both communities.

By providing a clear and efficient pathway to formalise, develop and accredit skills, the US-funded project will support workers of both communities, access decent work. It will also support Syrians to obtain work permits, formalising their employment in the country.

The project will help embed the principles of the London Syria Conference to increase economic opportunities in host countries, supporting the developmental response and reducing poverty. It will also help the Government of Jordan deliver on its commitment to issue 200,000 work permits to Syrian refugees, in return for radical improvements in trade and investment with the EU.


Support 13,550 workers (10,795 Syrians and 2,755 Jordanians) access formal employment and decent work in the sectors of construction, confectionary and garment, through:
  • Supporting Syrian refugees obtain work permits;
  • supporting job seekers enhance their skills or certifying existing skills through training and Recognition of Prior Learning in the sectors of construction; confectionary and garment; and
  • addressing gender disparity in labour force participation.

Main Activities:

Increase access of Jordanians and Syrian working in the construction sector to Formal Skills Testing and certification, through:
  • Designing Recognition of Prior Learning training programme and material for ten occupations; and
  • providing Recognition of Prior Learning training to 5,000 beneficiaries.
Increase access of Jordanian and Syrian women refugee working in confectionary and garment sectors to on-the-job training, Formal Skills Testing, and certification, through:
  • Designing on-the-job training programme and material for beneficiaries in the confectionary and garment sectors; and
  • providing training to 500 beneficiaries.
Help Syrian refugees gain access to work permits, through:
  • Equipping and staffing Guidance and Support Offices (GSOs);
  • providing career guidance and counselling to 8,000 beneficiaries; and
  • facilitating access of 800 Syrian refugees to work permits.
Coach and train beneficiaries to become technical coaches and trainers in their field of occupations, through:
  • Preparing training material on teaching and learning approaches and methodologies; and
  • training and certifying 50 beneficiaries.

Outcomes/achievements-to-date (July 2018):

  • Recognition of Prior Learning training programme and material for 14 occupations designed (exceeding target of ten occupations);
  • Recognition of Prior Learning training for 5,000 workers in the construction sector provided;
  • On-the-job training programme for 481 (of the targeted 500 workers) in confectionary and garment provided;
  • Five Guidance and Support Offices in Amman, Mafraq, Irbid, Zarqaa and Karak equipped and staffed. Desks within the Zaatari and Azraq Employment Centres, providing guidance and supporting with work permit issuance, set up;
  • Work permits obtained and career counselling provided to 12,901 Syrian refugees (exceeding target of 8,000 workers); and
  • Training and certification of 20 beneficiaries (of the targeted 50 beneficiaries) to become coaches and trainers in their occupations achieved.