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ILO, Australia ink deal to improve working conditions in Jordan floriculture sector

Project to aid workers in skills development, address child labour

By Elizabeth Turnbull - Aug 17,2019 - Last updated at Aug 17,2019

The agreement between the International Labour Organisation and the Government of Australia will work to allow more women and individuals with disabilities to participate in the floricultural sector (JT file photo)

AMMAN — The International Labour Organisation (ILO) signed a project agreement with the Government of Australia, which aims to improve working conditions for vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugees employed in the floriculture sector, according to the ILO.

The statement detailing the agreement, released August 4, specified that the project will focus on particular farms in Madaba and Irbid and will work to allow more women and individuals with disabilities to participate in the sector and help advance their employability.

"Eventually, indirectly, this programme will help the economy in the floriculture sector," economist and investment consultant, Wajdi Makhamreh told The Jordan Times on Saturday, adding that more employees will be hired, which is good for the economy and the employment rate in Jordan.

In application, the programme will utilise ILO skills training to help train and certify a group of one thousand workers and ultimately aid them in gaining better access to job opportunities and improving their ability to earn a living in floriculture work, read the ILO press release.

"Australia is pleased to work with the ILO and other partners to create new training and employment opportunities in floriculture for vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugees, including women and people with disabilities," the Australian Ambassador to Jordan, Miles Armitage was quoted as saying in the statement.

In addition to aiding workers in skills development and income generation, the statement noted that issues of child labour in floricultural work will be addressed "through identification and referral mechanisms supporting children to access appropriate services".   

ILO Senior Resilience and Crisis Response Specialist in the Arab States region Maha Kattaa noted that the floriculture sector has experienced much growth in the past years. In the report she was quoted as highlighting the need for reforms in certain areas of the sector.

In partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Agriculture, the Jordan Agricultural Engineers Association, Vocational Training Corporation, the Jordanian Association of Cut Flowers and Ornamental Plants, private sector actors and national training providers, the project will aid floricultural producers in accessing new local, regional and international markets, according to the report.

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