Local Jordanians shun garment factory jobs

07 Apr '15
2 min read

Jordan is facing a crisis of worker shortage in its garment factories, as local Jordanians are shunning the sector, as benefits offered to them are not attractive vis-à-vis those offered to foreign workers.

The Jordanian garment sector offers thousands of job opportunities but the benefits are more attractive to guest workers than to Jordanians, said the Jordan Times, quoting a report of the National Centre for Human Resources Development (NCHRD).

The report said that between 2011 and 2013, textile manufacturers offered a total of 19,657 jobs, to which only 4,251 people applied, thereby creating a huge gap of 15,406.

The study found that demand for jobs by employers in the sector outweighs supply of workers with over 15,000 employment opportunities available in the coming two years.

Ala Bashayreh from NCHRD explained to the Jordan Times that Jordanians are reluctant to apply for jobs in the textile industry due to certain laws and the work environment.

According to Bashayreh, labour ministry laws compel garment factories to offer health insurance and housing to foreign workers, while it is not obligatory to offer such benefits to Jordanians.

“This needs to be amended as the local workforce too should be offered health insurance,” she noted.

“Foreign workers are more productive than Jordanians because they can work two shifts to get higher salaries, but Jordanians cannot,” she added.

Foreigners can work everywhere because they know that the factory will provide housing but Jordanians can’t due to cultural reasons and transportation difficulties, she noted.

Bashayreh, who led the team that prepared the study, said some of the jobs available for the coming years would be temporary for some months.

Factories sometimes receive large manufacturing orders so they hire more employees temporarily to meet delivery dates, the specialist said.

“Jordanian families refuse to send their daughters to work in factories that are far from their residence and also since they do not like the work environment at garment factories,” Bashayreh explained.

She noted that most women workers in the industry are foreigners as due to the benefits, the jobs are more attractive for them.

“In order to encourage Jordanian women to work for garment factories, new laws should be drafted to force employers to provide daycare services for their children,” she observed. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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