With an initial focus on the garment and textile industries, the ILO has launched a comprehensive and coordinated programme involving ILO’s key components (BetterWork, Vision Zero Fund, SCORE and LABADMIN) to promote decent work and inclusive industrialization in Ethiopia. The textile and garment industry is one of the priorities of the Ethiopian Government under the Growth and Transformation plan (GTPII) in the move of lifting Ethiopia to a middle-income country by 2025. However, poor working conditions resulting in low productivity, high turnover and absentee as well as weak regulatory institutions, coupled with the limited capacity of the workers’ and employers’ organisations, creates a poorly functioning labour market and uncompetitive businesses.
Programme objectiveThe overarching development goal of the ILO programme’s strategy is to see improved respect of workers’ rights leading to greater incomes and compensation, and enhanced safety, equality, voice, and representation. The programme also aims to lift Industrial productivity and competitiveness to enable a global competitive textile and garment sector and encourage accountable and transparent government institutions.
Programme interventionThe programme will bring together ILO’s key decent work components ; BetterWork, Vision Zero Fund, SCORE and LABADMIN to promote sound industrial relations, strengthen enterprise level practices, build labour inspectorate capacity, and, ultimately, provide a blueprint for the rollout of decent work practices into other industries. At the national level, under the leadership of the tripartite partners the project is facilitating social dialogue among multiple stakeholders in developing common vision and strategies to make Ethiopia an African hub of socially responsible production of garment for both global and domestic market. The programme will also support the tripartite constituents for fixing minimum wage as well as enhance the capacity of government institution to prevent and resolve labour dispute.
At the regional and sectorial level, the project is assisting labour administration in strengthening their capacity for labour inspection. By establishing a sustainable and inclusive compliance system that abides by both national and international labour standards the programme also aims to implement a robust system for factory level assessment and remediation. To ensure occupational health and safety, the programme also aims to establish a sustainable work place injury prevention, protection and compensation system. At the factory level, the project is providing demand-driven capacity building support informed by assessment results. The support is geared towards improving the participating factories productivity, working conditions and industrial relation to make the factory competitive in local and international market. The programme also aims to improve supervisory and HR skills as well as incorporate gender equality and diversity principles to encourage women worker to reach leadership.
Component descriptionUnder the ILO programme of advancing decent work and inclusive industrialization, a comprehensive and integrated intervention will be carried out by the following four ILO components;
Better Work: Better work is a collaborative and comprehensive programme between the United Nation International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) bringing together all levels of garment industry to improve working conditions and respect of labour rights for workers, and boost the competitiveness of the apparel business. Currently Better Work programme is active in 1,600 factories employing more than 2.2 million workers in seven countries.
The main objective of Better Work Ethiopia is to bring about sound industrial relation, strengthen enterprise level practice, build labour Inspectorate capacity and ultimately provide a blue print for the expansion of decent work practices into other industries. Better Work will work very closely with workers, enterprises and government bodies to realize the rights of workers and enhance their ability to engage in productive dialogue, create better conditions for garment workers in ways that also support businesses and create effective labour regulation for sustainable impact respectively.
SCORE: Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) Programme of the ILO improves productivity and working conditions in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The key intervention of the programme is SCORE Training, which combines practical classroom training with in-factory consulting. The Training demonstrates best international practice in the manufacturing and service sectors and helps SMEs to participate in global supply chains.
As part of the ILO’s comprehensive response, SCORE Training related to quality management (how to identify and prevent defects, improve customer satisfaction and continuous quality improvement through plan – do – check – act style), efficient use of resources (how to reduce waste and conserve water and energy) and industrial engineering concepts of productivity improvement (how to improve standard work time and set operating procedures) will be delivered. The training will also reinforce concepts of workplace cooperation needed to improve productivity (focus on building trust, respect and communication between managers and workers and setting performance improvement teams).
Vision Zero Fund (VZF): an initiative of the Group of Seven (G7) countries, aims at preventing work-related deaths, injuries and diseases in sectors operating in or aspiring to join global supply chains (GSCs). VZF’s main objective is to increase collective public and private action aimed at fostering and enhancing concrete occupational safety and health (OSH) prevention activities in businesses operating in low and middle income countries. For this programme, Vision Zero Fund Ethiopia will focus on working with government, factories and workers to ensure workers are covered by sustainable prevention, protection and compensation system.
LABADMIN: The ILO Labour Administration, Labour Inspection (LABADMIN) aims at assisting constituents in promoting Decent Work through the strengthening of labour administration machinery and ultimately building a more effective labour inspection systems. LABADMIN in ILO Ethiopia aims to enhance the compliance capacity of the labour inspectorate, design labour inspection information and knowledge management system, build technical and material capacity of labour inspectorate and establish a factory level assessment and remediation system.