Living and working together: integration of Syrians into the Turkish economy
The project in brief
Department of International Relations and European Union, Vocational Qualifications Authority, Turkey
This project is financed by the European Union (Facility for Refugees in Turkey).
The overall objective of the project is to enhance the employability of Syrians under temporary protection as well as Turkish citizens through vocational qualifications. Its aim is to facilitate the contribution of Syrian refugees to the Turkish economy by strengthening their social and economic status.
The project is conducted in twelve provinces with a significant Syrian population (Adana, Bursa, Gaziantep, Hatay, İstanbul, İzmir, Kayseri, Konya, Mardin, Mersin, Şanlıurfa). In line with the target set, the skills of Syrians under temporary protection and Turkish citizens is mapped and the skills demanded by employers determined. Persons who already have an occupation have the opportunity to take the qualification tests provided by certification bodies authorized by the Vocational Qualifications Authority (VQA). Persons who do not have any occupations are directed to vocational trainings provided by public institutions and civil society organizations.
Within the scope of the project, employment guaranties are provided for a certain number of people who are successful in the exams and have a right to obtain a Vocational Qualification Certificate from VQA. Syrians under temporary protection who are able to obtain a vocational qualification certificate are provided with Turkish language lessons before or after job placement.
Main activities of the Good Practice
- Labour market needs assessment,
- Enhancing employability of Syrians under temporary protection and host communities (skills mapping of Syrians under temporary protection and Turkish citizens, creating a vocational education guide),
- Testing and certification (orientation days, theoretical and performance exams job matching),
- Turkish language lessons,
- Capacity development for local chambers and companies (information days, developing and designing a web-based information system, trainings for project team, study visit to Germany).
Activities related specifically to VQA are:
- Supporting project implementers to cooperate with certification bodies.
- Informing project implementers about the scope of the authorization of the certification body.
- The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB)
- Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV)
- European Union
- UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Challenges and how they were overcome
Within the scope of the project, the challenges faced by VQA is regarding testing and certification processes. During these processes, the most common challenge is the insufficiency of authorized certification bodies for the certification of qualifications of Syrians.
VQA continues its activities with regards to strengthening other authorized certification bodies who want to take part in the process.
Results of the Good Practice
- Within the scope of the project, as of May 2019, a total of 21,248 people participated in the survey and skills mapping. Syrians under temporary protection constituted 71,4% of survey takers.
- 14,164 people have a qualification which could be certified. Testing and certification activities started in March 2019. A total of 315 people attended the exams and 165 people were entitled to obtain Vocational Qualification Certificate from VQA.
- Within the scope of the project, the testing and certification process continues in several provinces. Testing and certification of Syrians will continue mainly in the fields of construction, furniture, textile, ready wear and leather, electric and electronics, beauty services, operating machinery and welding.
İsmail Özdoğan, Head of Department of International Relations and European Union, Vocational Qualifications Authority, Turkey