Summary:In 2016, Jordan and the European Union signed an Agreement that simplified the Rules of Origin (RoO) requirements in the EU-Jordan Association Agreement. It is part of the EU’s broader response to the on-going Syria crisis and support to Jordan. Following a revision of the Agreement between the EU and the Government of Jordan in December 2018, the EU agreed to extend the scheme until December 2030.
In response to the provisions under RoO Agreement and in support of the objectives of the Jordan Compact, the Ministry of Labour, the EU and the ILO signed a collaboration agreement to support the scheme's implementation and to ensure decent working conditions in companies exporting to the EU.
In its first phase, the EU-ILO collaboration provided an overall framework for the ILO for support, monitoring and provision of technical assistance. The ILO partnered with national stakeholders and the private sector to strengthen capacity and facilitate decent job creation for Jordanians and Syrians. Interventions helped build communication networks between job-seekers and private sector companies through employment services. This built on existing cooperation between the ILO and the Ministry of Labour, and supported the ILO’s Better Work Jordan (BWJ) in expanding its core services to non-garment sectors.
In the second phase of the project, the ILO seeks to scale-up efforts to advance opportunities under the RoO Agreement. The ILO will continue to operate five EU-funded employment centres in Sahab, Zarqa, Mafraq, Irbid and Zaatari refugee camp. It will also facilitate job-matching through the introduction of the e-counselling platform, set up by the ILO, with support from development partners, including the EU. The platform will help Jordanian and Syrian job-seekers and workers, as well as employers in accessing employment information, job and training opportunities, career guidance and other services.
BWJ, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, will monitor labour standards and advise companies eligible to export to the EU under the RoO Agreement using the assessment tools customised during the first phase.
Objectives:Support decent work opportunities and inclusive economic growth in Jordan through the relaxed Rules of Origin initiative, through:
- Facilitating employment and job-matching services for Jordanian and Syrian job-seekers to access decent work opportunities in sectors exporting to the EU under the EU-Jordan Agreement on the relaxation of the rules of origin (RoO); and
- monitoring and promoting decent work principles in enterprises authorised to benefit from the EU’s relaxed Rules of Origin initiative.
Main Activities:Support employment service officers and partners in the Labour Directorates through capacity building and training to help them match diverse job-seekers with decent work more efficiently, through:
- Training employment service officers and partners in the Labour Directorates on effective employment service provisions;
- Training employment service officers and partners in the Labour Directorates on gender-responsive employment service delivery and employment services that meet the needs of workers with disabilities;
- Deliverying of services, such as childcare, that enhance access to jobs for workers with family responsibilities; and
- Facilitating transportation for Syrian job-seekers inside the Zaatari refugee camp to their place of work.
- Identifying current and anticipated labour needs and facilitating work permit requests initiated through the e-counselling system;
- Conducting regular career guidance and meetings between employment officers and job-seekers, both face-to-face and through the e-counselling system;
- Carrying out orientation and site visits for job-seekers to familiarise themselves with working conditions and expectations at firms offering job vacancies;
- Supporting employers in identifying and articulating the skills required to fill out job vacancies; and
- Collecting and analysing data from the employment service centres.
- Training a local service provider to maintain and upgrade the system during the initial years of operation;
- Facilitating its gradual integration with the National Electronic Employment System (NEES);
- Launching awareness raising and information campaigns to sensitise beneficiaries on the use of the e-counselling system; and
- Training Ministry of Labour officials, including those in the Directorates, to use the platform.
- Customising the BW model to serve the new sectors (plastic, chemicals and engineering);
- Conducting annual Better Work assessments in eligible factories;
- Providing Better Work advisory services to eligible factories;
- Delivering training to workers, supervisors and managers from eligible factories;
- Customising training materials for the non-garment sectors, particularly modules on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH);
- Organising industry seminars on relevant topics, including OSH, contracts, HR practices and gender and non-discrimination; and
- Revising the Labour Law Guide for the garment sector and launching a Labour Law Guide application for smartphones, in addition to producing new guides for three non-garment sectors (chemicals, engineering and plastics).
- Publishing annual reports presenting compliance findings;
- Organising the annual stakeholders’ forum in Amman to bring together representatives from the public and private sectors; and
- Establishing one Project Advisory Committee (PAC) for non-garment sectors (plastics, chemicals and engineering).
- Joint enterprise visits, including assessments with labour inspectors;
- Continuing the secondment programme for labour inspectors, with a focus on knowledge transfer from BWJ to the Ministry of Labour; and initiating a new short-term secondment with three labour inspectors per quarter.
- Training labour inspectors on topics related to OSH, sexual harassment prevention (SHP), gender and non-discrimination, contracts and facilitation skills; and
- Supporting LABADMIN/ILO to implement the Strategic Compliance Plan (SCP) in Jordan as well as sharing compliance data for the garment sector.
Achievements to Date (June 2019):
- Five EU-funded employment centres were established across Jordan, providing a physical place where job-seekers can meet counsellors face-to-face to seek employment and training advice, job matching services and career guidance. Since September of 2017, a total of 12,626 Syrian and Jordanian job seekers have been registered at centers supported by the EU, out of which 7,440 have been referred to jobs and 3,756 placed in jobs, including 1,091 women.
- Launch of the first on-line job counselling and guidance platform that targets both Syrian and Jordanian job-seekers and workers. The platform offers workers improved access to job and training opportunities across multiple sectors. So, far, 5,503 job seekers and 92 companies have registered on the platform with a total of 840 job vacancies available.
- Provision of transportation (92 per cent of whom are women) for Syrian refugees from the Zaatari camp in order to facilitate access to work.
- Seven factories (three garment and four non-garment factories) have registered under BWJ’s programme, receiving the programme’s core services in accordance with the adapted models (in garment, chemicals, engineering and plastics sectors).
- Implementation of secondment programmes aimed at enhancing experience-sharing and knowledge transfer on compliance mechanisms for Ministry of Labour inspectors. So far, 15 labour inspectors has benefitted from this programme.
- Support to the Labour Administration and Labour Inspection (LABADMIN/ILO) for the implementation of the Strategic Compliance Plan (SCP) in four different sectors (car mechanics, chemical, construction and garment).
- Organising BWJ’s eleventh Annual Stakeholders’ Forum, bringing together government representatives, international buyers, garment sector stakeholders and civil society representatives to discuss cooperation in the country’s garment sector.