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Article

Can Jordan get a million Syrians into work?

...The Jerash Garments & Fashions Manufacturing Company, a factory with 2,800 employees, is run by Oryana Awaisheh, a Jordanian who...is among the pioneers trying to take up the opportunity of the Jordan compact...Awaisheh set out to hire refugees as soon as she heard it would give her factory access to EU markets without normal tariff barriers. But the deal is only open to businesses that can meet the requirement of having a 15% Syrian refugee workforce...[I]nitially...[i]t was difficult to convince the Syrians to work in factories, as they were often earning better money in other sectors such as construction or in restaurants, which required less commitment...Awaisheh spent two months visiting Zaatari, meeting women and attending job fairs. She invited refugees to tour the factory, set up a daycare centre and arranged transport. By November she had an all-female production line of 85 workers, including 19 women from Zaatari, and the factory qualified to export to Europe...Whether Awaisheh’s success can be replicated at scale remains to be seen. More than 80% of the estimated 1.3 million Syrians in Jordan live in towns not camps, and the minimum-wage jobs in the garment sector do not cover the needs of urban refugees with bills to pay...

Part of the following stories

Access to work in Jordan & Lebanon for Syrian refugees, migrant workers & host populations

Jordan garment sector: exploitation of migrant workers