The Jordan Compact established a new holistic approach between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the European Union in addressing the large influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan through investment, growth and job creation. However, while the Compact envisions a substantial increase of Syrian refugees employed in Jordan, Jordanian businesses have not yet been able to attract Syrian workers in significant numbers.
This Capstone, in collaboration with Better Work Jordan (part of the Better Work Global program, which is a partnership between the International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation), examined the remaining barriers faced by Syrian refugees in their pursuit of sustainable livelihoods in Jordan. The report drew on findings from 41 semi- structured interviews with a wide range of experts and stakeholders, and five focus group discussions held in Jordan with a total of 138 Syrian refugees. Together with an extensive literature review, the team identified eleven supply-side and demand-side barriers that affect Syrian refugees’ uptake of work permits and formal employment in Jordan.
The Capstone team provided a comprehensive analysis of each of the barriers, placing refugees’ perspectives at the centre of the analysis, and concluded with five recommendations:
1) Improve process and reduce employment costs;
2) Reduce labour market and work permit information asymmetries;
3) Increase the participation of Jordanians in restricted sectors;
4) Increase productivity and competitiveness of the export industry; and
5) Improve working conditions, especially for women.