ILO: Good Practices for Attracting and Retaining Jordanians and Syrians in the Manufacturing Sector in Jordan (2018)

From 2017-2018, the Vision Center for Strategic and Development Studies worked in accordance with the Jordan Chamber of Industry (JCI) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) to identify good practices for attracting and retaining Jordanians and Syrians in the Manufacturing Sector in Jordan, and to create a framework for implementing the National Employment and Empowerment Program (NEEP). This study used a mixed methodology of primary research in the form of semi-structured interviews and desktop research. The desktop research covered several aspects, including an overview of the Jordanian labor market, a review of target sectors, and emerging good practices on integrating nationals and refugees into the industrial sector from nations around the world. Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Germany were observed as the main countries where examples for good practices of integrating nationals and refugees into the workforce could be found internationally. The primary research consists of stakeholder interviews with industry leaders from each of the five subsectors; the Textile & Garments sector, the Chemical & Cosmetic sector, the Plastic & Rubber sector, the Wood & Furniture sector, and the Printing & Packing sector. The interview sample was carefully selected to ensure equal representation from small, medium, and large firms within the manufacturing sector in Jordan. Each firm needed to demonstrate some experience with migrant workers, familiarity with labor force integration policies, and have strategies for good practices on working businesses and environments within their subsector.

The study offered an overview of each sub-sector of the manufacturing industry in Jordan, identified the major issues within each sub-sector, and developed solutions on how to tackle such issues. It also identified good practices that were already being implemented by firms within the manufacturing industry, and analyzed how those practices could be applied to all firms across the entire industry. Some of the findings and recommendations across all sectors are:

  • Highlight the role of the Ministry of Education regarding increasing the willingness of Jordanian workers to participate in vocational and technical jobs through changing the mind set and common cultural among students and their perception towards vocational jobs.

  • The lack of proper credentials, certification and accreditation for technical and vocational jobs inside the education system creates perceptions and resentment among Jordanian youth and women which must be avoided to attract more Jordanians to the industrial sector.

  • The need to establish a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the private sector for creating jobs and employing the Jordanian labour force in industrial sectors.

  • The public sector should work on maintaining the stability and sustainability of the laws and regulations related to labour forces, in order to decrease the lack of job security and the increased amount of work dropouts.

  • There is a large demand from the five industrial sub-sectors in Jordan to increase work permits to skilled Syrian labour, which will expand decent economic opportunities and job creating for Syrian refugees and ensure that the Ministry of interior could not deny work permits for any reason.

  • The need to provide a detailed database about the labour market, the sectors needs and enhance the role of monitoring agencies to control the labour market.

  • One of the most important practices in the industrial sector for integrating Syrian labour force is to provide accommodation and logistics services such as: transportation, food/meals, housing, vocational safety measures, and public health services inside the factory business environment.

  • Encourage more woman to participate in the labour market through various incentives.

  • There is a need to develop strategies that address the issue of increasing the number of Jordanians and Syrians labour forces while maintaining the foreign labour force to protect a continuous productivity and preservation of the quality of industrial sector products.