Jamotex is a textile company created in 2013 in the underdeveloped region of Kasserine, in West Central Tunisia. “Initially, the idea was mine,” says Mohamed Mnasri, “My wife has a university degree, so we were able to get a loan and we started to work together.” Jamotex worked as a subcontractor for a single apparel client. In addition to the risk inherent in depending on the business of a single customer, Jamotex had very little leverage in terms of setting prices. “Jamotex has gone through many difficulties, especially financially as prices are very low. Because of this, I looked for another buyer, located in the North,” explained Mr. Mnasri.
In order to satisfy the new potential client’s requirements for quantity and quality, Jamotex needed to develop capabilities that the company currently did not have. However, in part due to the breakdown of local training and vocational support services, Kasserine suffers from a severe shortage of skilled labor for the textile industry. Jamotex was unable to find qualified workers, resulting in quality issues and production delays.
BRCP’s employability team has worked extensively in Kasserine and other underdeveloped regions in Tunisia. Through this network, BRCP has been able to successfully source candidates from different backgrounds to meet workforce needs and boost the capabilities of enterprises. BRCP and Jamotex undertook a targeted recruitment and pre-employment training effort. BRCP conducted enterprise days in local villages to introduce Jamotex to locals and to identify job seekers with the right profiles interested in joining Jamotex.
Achwak, 24 years old, joined the company following an enterprise day organized by BRCP and Jamotex. “Mr Mohamed came to our village,” she says, “He explained that his company was hiring workers. We accepted the offer and came here to work.” Selected candidates benefited from an intensive training on production procedures and quality standards.
Mrs. Jamila Sehlo, CEO of Jamotex and Mr. Mohamed’s wife, described their goals, “We hope with this training to gain another client. With more clients, our situation will be better and we can hire more workers, especially women from rural areas who really need work. We will benefit, and they will also benefit, and it will help our region which needs help and needs more jobs.”
“This training will allow the workers to learn the technique quickly,” she continued, “instead of working as interns for an entire year, it will only take one month and then they are paid like normal workers. We want to contribute to changing the mindset, changing the work ethic, then money will come. We teach them to work, to learn, and then they can pursue their goals.”
“I want to learn,” said Achwak, “so that one day I can start my own project, buy my own machine, work on it, and hire other women like I was hired.”
BRCP and Jamotex’s recruitment and pre-employment training collaboration led to the hiring of 24 full-time workers.