Skill certification programme improves opportunities of employment for Jordanian and Syrian workers

The ILO in Jordan is working with Syrian refugees and Jordanians, the majority of whom are employed in the construction sector, to boost their employment prospects through its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme.

خبر | ٠٨ نوفمبر, ٢٠١٨
An ILO-supported programme which assesses and formally recognises the skills and expertise that a person has gained while working, often in the informal economy, is improving employment chances for Jordanians and Syrian refugees in Jordan.

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) gives participants working in Jordan’s construction sector practical and theoretical training in their professions, helping upgrade their existing skills, while enhancing their knowledge of Occupational Health and Safety (OSH).

At the end of the programme, participants are awarded with skills certificates that formally acknowledge their prior learning, in efforts to help them find better employment opportunities in their fields of profession.

Some 10,000 workers from both communities, including more than 300 women, have been supported through this programme since 2016.

The ILO is coaching some of the workers to become trainers themselves in construction, through its Training of Trainers (ToT) programme. The training provides participants with adequate learning methods, techniques and approaches that are needed to enable them to better transfer knowledge to other learners and apprentices.

So far, the ToT programme has benefited some 80 Syrian and Jordanian professionals in the sector of construction. The programme will be expanded to target other sectors, such as the manufacturing industry.

The ILO has also been working closely with the Government of Jordan and The General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions (GFJTU) to help Syrian refugees in construction obtain work permits. Last year, GFJTU began issuing non-employer-specific work permits in the construction sector, following an ILO-coordinated agreement with the Government. The permits are issued for a minimal fee directly to refugees working. Some 16,000 work permits have been issued by GFJTU in the construction sector so far.

Syrian Aboud Al Masoud came to Jordan over five years ago, after fleeing war in his home-country. Unable to initially obtain a work permit, Al Masoud said he lived in fear of being caught by inspectors for years while he worked informally in construction.

Yet, thanks to the ILO-support initiatives, Al Masoud recently legalised his employment status, allowing him to work freely and safely in the labour market. He has also benefited from the ILO skills training programmes, enabling him to become a trainer in his field of profession.

“Being able to work legally has changed my life,” said Al Masoud. “I also obtained a skills certification, and took part in the ILO-supported Training of Trainers (ToT) programme. Through the training, I am now able to train new trainees and provide them with the skills and knowledge that I acquired… it has enhanced our potentials and our ability to transfer our skills to new trainees.”