Formalizing access to the legal labour market for refugees and host communities in Jordan (Phase II)

This project seeks to support Jordanians and Syrian refugees in accessing decent work in Jordan’s labour market through skills development and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), while also supporting female workers to enter and remain in the formal work force through targeted support. It also supports refugee workers with work permit issuance in selected sectors, including through an ILO-developed web-based platform.


The project will build on achievements made under the first phase “Formalizing Access to the Legal Labour Market Through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Certification for Syrians and Jordanians Working in, Construction, Confectionary and Garment Sectors,” which helped train and certify 5,000 Jordanian and Syrian refugee job seekers through the use of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) methodology in the construction sector. In this phase of the project, RPL models will be applied to seven new occupations in the construction and manufacturing sectors. Jordanian and refugee women who were trained in confectionary and garments during the first phase of the project will be incorporated into a tracer study, in efforts to develop and implement a package of support to help women enter and stay in the labour force. A batch of 100 Syrian and Jordanian women will also be trained using ILO’s Women Do Business training methodology.

The operations of five Guidance and Support Offices (GSOs) will also be maintained and upgraded to reflect the implementation of a new web-based employment platform in Jordan. The platform supports Jordanian and Syrian job seekers and workers, as well as employers in Jordan to access employment information, job and training opportunities, career guidance and other support to enhance their businesses and livelihoods.

The project will help embed the principles of the London Syria Conference to increase economic opportunities in host countries, supporting the developmental response and reducing poverty. It will also help the government of Jordan to deliver on the commitment it has made to issue 200,000 work permits to Syrian refugees, in return for radical improvements in trade and investment with the European Union.


A total of 17,500 beneficiaries (Jordanians and refugees) will be supported to access formal employment and decent work in Amman, Irbid, Zarqa, Karak and Mafraq through:
  • Skills development, work safety trainings and the expansion of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) model to new occupations;
  • targeted packages of support and business development services for women workers; and
  • the issuance of work permits to refugees, including through an ILO developed web-based counselling platform.

Main Activities:

Support Jordanians and refugees to access trainings and the chance to have their skills validated through the application of the Recognition of Prior Learning model in seven occupations in the construction and manufacturing sectors. This includes:
  • Adapting RPL training models in seven occupations in the construction and manufacturing sectors (through developing and updating competency based curriculum, test questions and practical tests);
  • providing RPL training to 2,000 beneficiaries in seven new occupations (to include Training of Trainers for RPL instructors, conducting theoretical and practical trainings in new occupations and facilitating the process of certification for trainees in new occupations); and
  • training and certifying 200 Jordanian and refugee job-seekers as supervisors on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) for their places of work.

Support Jordanian and refugee women to access and remain in the formal labour market through targeted packages of career support and small business development services. This includes:
  • Improving evidence-based knowledge to better understand key barriers to female labour force participation and to better target employment services (through a tracer study launched with female beneficiaries in Phase I, as well as groups discussions to better understand the needs and preferences of Jordanian and refugee women in agriculture);
  • providing 400 Jordanian women and refugee women working in the agriculture sector with targeted support to access and remain in decent work opportunities (such as transportation, community based childcare arrangements and awareness raising and information campaigns on Occupational Safety and Health and labour rights);
  • providing 100 Jordanian women and refugee women entrepreneurs with business development support (including existing ILO tools of support for SME development (Women Do Business) as well as targeted SME support); and
  • enhancing information of national and regional stakeholders to better understand and address female labour force participation in the agriculture sector through a regional conference on women at work in the agriculture sector.
Support Syrian refugees to access work permits in targeted sectors, through:
  • Upgrading and maintaining the Guidance and Support Offices, by improving equipment to support the issuance of work permits, including the e-counselling system; employing staff to support increased activity flow on work permit, and training new and existing staff on use of the e-counselling system;
  • supporting the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions to issue flexible work permits, through the development of training material for union staff on the issuance of flexible permits, as well as training on the use of the e-counselling system; and
  • issuing work permits to 15,000 Syrian refugee workers.

Achievements to Date (May 2019):

  • RPL methodology for 7 new occupations in the manufacturing sector adapted, including the development of occupational portfolios, test and assessment tools;
  • 2 Training of Trainers (ToT) workshops for RPL instructors and assessors conducted;
  • RPL training and certification programme targeting 1000 beneficiaries in North, South, Middle and Wadi Alardun regions launched;
  • 100 Jordanian and Syrian workers certified as Occupational Safety and Health Supervisors for their workplace;
  • Over 11,659 work permits issued in the construction and agriculture sectors. 
  • 816 work permits applications through mobile units, helping deliver employment services to workers in hard to reach places. This includes 726 for the agricultural sector (29.6% women) and 90 work permits for the construction sector; and
  • Employment Service Centres go digital with the newly developed, web-based, E-Counselling system (with 5,503 job seekers and 92 companies registered to-date with a total of 840 job vacancies available).