Jordan: One million guest workers and counting

Published December 26th, 2012 - 09:20 GMT
Jordan has one million illegal guest workers
Jordan has one million illegal guest workers

The [Jordanian] labour ministry estimates that there are over one million illegal guest workers in Jordan, Minister of Labour Nidal Katamine said on Monday.

At present, there are around 250,000 guest workers with work permits and more than one million others who are working without work permits, in addition to 45,000 documented domestic helpers and another 40,000 undocumented ones, Katamine said at a meeting with investors at the King Abdullah II Industrial Estate in Sahab.

The Ministry of Labour is working to rectify the legal status of guest workers and collect more accurate information on the number of legal and illegal workers, the minister said. 

Katamine said at the meeting, which was also attended by Civil Defence Department Director General Lt. Gen. Talal Kofahi, that the ministry is trying to meet investors’ needs of manpower while replacing guest workers with Jordanians.

The government aims to revive the vocational education system that was adopted in the 1970s so that high school graduates can meet the demands of the labour market, the minister said.

Katamine also urged young job seekers to register at the labour and recruitment directorates in their governorates so that the ministry can contact them when there are vacancies.

Investors called on the government to re-examine the status of Asian guest workers who were brought into the country to work in the Qualifying Industrial Zones and left these zones illegally. 

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