Summary:In 2016, Jordan began to ease the application process of issuing work permits to Syrian refugees as part of its commitment at the Supporting Syria and the Region conference in London to reduce barriers to the legal employment of refugees.
As a result, an agreement between the EU and Jordan to relax rules of origin was signed later in 2016. It aims to facilitate access of specific Jordanian goods to EU markets while at the same time creating incentives for Jordanian employers to recruit Syrian workers in addition to their Jordanian employees, in order to meet the requirements under the Jordan Compact.
This project, funded by the EU, monitors the labour aspects of implementing the EU’s trade agreement with Jordan.
In response to provisions set forward under the new trade agreement and in support of the objectives of the Jordan Compact, the Ministry of Labour will work closely with the ILO and the private sector to support decent job creation in exporting sectors and achieve its target for Syrians to comprise 15 per cent of the workforce. The project will also work closely with the ILO’s Better Work Jordan programme to expand its core services – assessment, advisory and training, which are currently implemented in the garment sector – to an agreed number of enterprises in selected sectors identified by the Ministry of Labour and covered under the EU-Jordan trade agreement.
Objectives:Monitor and facilitate labour aspects in implementing the EU’s trade agreement with Jordan in relaxing the Rules of Origin.
- Support Jordanians and Syrian refugees gain access to employment in the manufacturing sector through job-matching services under the EU trade scheme and promote decent working conditions in Jordan;
- extend the core services of ILO’s Better Work Jordan programme to further manufacturing sectors (to include chemical, engineering and plastics manufacturing), to help Jordanian companies abide by the country’s labour law and meet international labour standards;
- collaborate with national stakeholders to strengthen their capacity to monitor and promote decent work in Jordan’s manufacturing sectors.
Main Activities:Promote and increase Jordanian and Syrian refugees’ access to the formal labour market in sectors exporting to the EU under the new trade scheme, through:
- Preparing skills analysis with the view to test and certify prior skills of Jordanians and Syrian refugees; and
- establishing and supporting employment offices in Zarqa, Mafraq, Irbid, Sahab and Zaatari refugee camp to provide better access to information about labour market opportunities, guidance and skills development services in economic zones.
- Establishing Labour Market Observatory (LMO) with the aim to support evidence-based policy and regulatory changes; and
- developing labour market information database, housed in the Ministry of Labour.
- Adapting Better Work’s tools on assessment, advisory and training to selected sectors and launching core service delivery in new sectors;
- introducing Better Work Jordan’s approach, training and methodology to labour inspectors; and
- strengthening the capacity of trade union organisations and employers’ associations and ensuring sustainability of Better Work services through its constituents.
- Coordinating with other UN organisations and international NGOs who are working towards the same goals; and
- working closely with other organisations to help facilitate collaboration with European buyers about their sourcing in Jordan.
Outcomes/achievements-to-date (July 2018):
- Five Employment Service Centres in Sahab, Zarqa, Zaatari refugee camp, Mafraq and Al Hassan Industrial Zone established;
- 2,905 Jordanian and 2,823 Syrian job seekers supported (with 885 Jordanians and 730 Syrians employed);
- 170 training opportunities identified;
- 6,234 vacancies identified (repeated);
- 676 trainees registered (apprenticeships)
- 33 career days set up;
- 910 companies visited and received services;
- 3 companies received certifications to export to the European Union under the EU-Jordan rules of origin agreement;
- Better Work compliance and advisory tools for 3 non-garment sectors adapted;
- 3 labour inspectors seconded to the Better Work Jordan team; and
- 80 labour inspectors trained on Better Work’s assessment tools and 85 labour inspectors trained on sexual harassment prevention and addressing human trafficking.