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IKEA to employ Syrian refugees at production centers in Jordan

“IKEA aims to take 200,000 people out of poverty in massive social sustainability drive”, 18 April 2017

IKEA is to employ refugees at production centres in Jordan this summer as part of a long-term plan to create employment for 200,000 disadvantaged people around the world through social entrepreneurship programmes. The centres in Jordan, which should be operational by August, will employ a mixture of Syrian refugees and Jordanians in the production of woven products including rugs, cushions and bedspreads. IKEA will build and equip the production centres, in which skilled craftspeople will work on handmade items.

The Swedish furniture giant is partnering with Jordan River Foundation, a non-governmental organisation established by Jordan's Queen Rania, which will manage the facilities and employ 100 people to start with, rising to 400 people within two years. Half will be refugees and half local workers…"Two-hundred thousand is our long-term ambition," said Jesper Brodin, IKEA's head of range and supply. "It may take 10-15 years. We want these people to be our future suppliers."…The centres will be located in and around Amman in northern Jordan, close to refugee camps strung along the border with Syria, from where an estimated 1.3 million refugees have poured since the start of Syria's civil war in 2011. "It's important that it's not only geared towards the refugees," Brodin explained. "We're also making sure that this benefits the Jordan population as well."

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