MIGRANT WOMEN IN TEXTILE
Period of implementation of the project:
2019 September – 2020
With our principle of diversity and equality, our main goal is to be a workplace where all our employees are embraced and feel valuable, regardless of their ethnic background, social background, religion, gender, age and disability. Therefore, our aim of this project is to provide vocational training and employment support to Asylum Seeker and refugee women and to raise awareness in the sector, as a business operating in the field of textile. During the implementation phase of the project, difficulties were encountered in the work permit application and application renewal processes of foreign employees due to bureaucratic stages and technical problems.
It was aimed to raise awareness on issues such as labor mobility, social protection, improvement of working conditions, prevention of discrimination, transition from the informal economy to the formal economy and ensuring the employment of refugees.
As the first step of the project, a joint field study with ILO (International Labor Organization) was conducted to reach refugee women in the socio-economically disadvantaged group. The training phase of the project started by selecting 10 trainees among 20 candidates. These trainees did not have any previous textile experience. Participants were given a free applied vocational training course for 8 weeks, 7.5 hours a day at Ekpen Tekstil by an instructor assigned by the Public Education Center. At the end of the Vocational Training, all participants were certified, so they had the chance to look for a job as a textile machine operator in the textile industry. Most successful trainees were employed by Ekpen Tekstil and one of the manufacturer in our supply chain. Other participants were also supported with CV preparation for finding a suitable job in textile companies.
The project, which aims to integrate disadvantaged groups into the society, has created awareness in the textile sector as well as throughout the country with its social outputs.
Turkey is a home to the largest refugee population in the world with refugee in excess of 4 million as of 2020. The vast majority of these refugees, close to 3.6 million, come from Syria and 400,000 are Afghan, Iranian and Iraqi nationals. The target audience of this project is Non-Syrian women Refugees and women Asylum Seekers due to the presence of mostly Afghan, Iranian and Iraqi nationals in our city.
These Non-Syrian Refugees and Asylum Seekers are struggling with poverty due to their inability to participate in the labor force, and those who are employed are mostly employed unregistered and are deprived of social security. Low wages and unhealthy working conditions alienate and impoverish refugee women from society every day.
We opened a certified vocational training course for refugee women who did not have experience in the field of textile before with the support of our stakeholders. This project aims to offer decent job opportunities to refugees and asylum seekers, brings fair wages, a safe working environment at the workplace and a social security to the beneficiaries.
In line with the objectives of the project, the desired goal was achieved, 40% of the participants were employed, and support was provided for unemployed trainees to be employed in workplaces with the same conditions. This project has attracted the attention of all businesses across the country by raising awareness about the diversity and equality especially in Denizli, where the textile industry is densely developed.
For employees in the business, the awareness about personal values such as religion, ethnicity, color, nationality cannot be made because of any discrimination that has settled for this reason a peaceful working environment. It has formed the core of a prosperous social structure.
Company: EKPEN TEKSTIL SAN. TIC. A.S.
About the company:
We have started our journey in textile sector in Turkey in 1994, with improvable partnerships and innovative goals. Our production facilities located in Denizli&Izmir, we operate in the fast fashion industry with 350 employees, 90% of whom are women, from the design process to production.