Ikea is set to develop workshops in Jordan that transfer employ Syrian refugees and local people, with the aim of helping to unite refugees and create jobs in the country.
The production facilities will be based in and circa Jordan’s capital city Amman, and will initially employ 100 escapees and locals to do weaving, stitching and embroidery work, which will befit part of Ikea’s textile and rugs collection.
It will initially bring into focus on employing local Jordanian women, due to the fact that many of them are already “skilled craftspeople”, means Ikea.
The retailer is currently developing prototypes for the collection, and aims to engage 400 people within two years.
Ikea has set up the project – which it trusts will be up and running by August – in collaboration with the Jordan River Institution, a local charity which focuses on championing social causes and sustainability.
“The condition in Syria is a major tragedy of our time, and Jordan has taken a great accountability in hosting Syrian refugees,” says Ikea. “We decided to look into how we can be supportive of Jordan’s journey of integrating refugees with locals…through fashioning jobs.”
The plans form part of Ikea’s broader Social Entrepreneurs opening move, which aims to “work against poverty” and “improve gender empowerment” by generating jobs for 200,000 disadvantaged people within 10-15 years.
First set up in 2012, the drive currently works with social entrepreneurs in countries such as India, Thailand, Sweden, Denmark and the US, and is actively seeking other comrades to work with in the future.
Ikea says: “We believe that persuading with social entrepreneurs can play a part in not only boosting handicraft but also expertise partnership, bringing in best practices in quality, supply chain and compliance.”
The retailer ends to include products from the Jordan Social Entrepreneurs initiative in its latitudes by 2019. They will initially be sold in the retailer’s stores in the Central East, as Jordan already has trade agreements with countries in this region.