The garment industry in Jordan has expanded rapidly over the past fifteen years, yet despite the high levels of unemployment and economic inactivity among Jordanians with low educational attainment, a meagre 20 percent of workers in the sector are native to the country.
In this context, Better Work Jordan (BWJ) has been tasked by the government, employers’ associations and workers’ associations to develop a strategy to increase Jordanian employment in the garment industry in line with the government of Jordan’s National Employment Strategy. To that end, BWJ has sponsored a qualitative study to better understand the barriers and obstacles to increased Jordanian employment in the sector.
The study includes in-depth interviews with factory management representatives, focus group meetings with workers at three garment factories and with unemployed workers in three main cities in Jordan. It should be noted that this research is exploratory in nature. While it provides useful insights to guide the design of policy interventions, it is not based on statistically representative samples of garment workers, unemployed individuals or garment factory managers.
A partnership between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Better Work Jordan was launched in February 2008. Its goal is to reduce poverty in Jordan by expanding decent work opportunities in the apparel sector. The programme also aims to improve competitiveness of the industry by improving compliance with Jordanian labour law and the ILO’s core labour standards and by enhancing economic performance at the enterprise level.