UNDP helps create jobs and boost productivity in manufacturing industry

January 30, 2023

The Employment and Skills Development Programme yielded concrete results in terms of employment and strengthening businesses’ competitiveness by increasing their productivity and enhancing their quality of labour force.

German-funded initiative supported businesses on lean and digital transformation and enhanced people’s access to local labour markets

One of the successful initiatives by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Industry and Technology (MoIT) in Türkiye, the six-year Employment and Skills Development Programme has been concluded at an online event on 20 January 2023, showcasing its impact both on businesses and the labour market. The programme yielded concrete results in terms of employment and strengthening businesses’ competitiveness by increasing their productivity and enhancing their quality of labour force.

Supported by EUR 8 million in funding from the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW Development Bank, the programme worked mainly on two areas.

The first focus area was strengthening Turkish Employment Agency’s (İŞKUR) institutional capacity and the active labour market services for Syrians Under Temporary Protection and Turkish citizens in the targeted 16 provinces. The programme also worked towards enhancing the skills and employability of people. Between 2017 and 2023, the programme delivered capacity building training sessions, held study visits and offered mobile services in the field, while developing physical capacities of selected pilot İŞKUR offices.

Secondly, the initiative focused on increasing the productivity of SMEs in the manufacturing industry by Model Factory services on lean and digital transformation, and strengthening the local economy to absorb higher levels of labour force. Konya and Kayseri Model Factories, which were established within the initiative, were positioned as critical policy tools for achieving productivity and competitiveness gains through training and consultancy services.

On the lean production side, more than 150 companies in Ankara, Konya and Kayseri provinces completed the Learn and Transform Programme and almost 500 companies benefitted from the other training and consultancy services of Model Factories. The outcomes of the completed pilots showed that companies reached an increase in productivity by the rates ranging from 52 to 76 percent.

Model Factories’ role in strengthening local capacities with expanded production base continues to help creating more jobs for both Syrians and Turkish people in the medium and long terms.

Also, effective interventions implemented throughout the project continue to support enhancing labour force in the short-term. Tailor-made vocational trainings provided by Ankara Chamber of Industry’s Continuous Education Center (ASO-SEM) and Konya Chamber of Trade’s Vocational Education Center (KTO-MEM), matchmaking activities conducted in cooperation with Chambers of Industry and Trade and entrepreneurship programmes have yielded very successful results in terms of creating sustainable jobs. As a result of the efforts, approximately 2,800 people have been placed into jobs and 3,000 people benefitted from awareness raising programmes.

“When I came to Türkiye from Syria in 2014 due to security concerns, my education was interrupted, and I had to work at jobs without social security. After I got my training and internship at ASO-SEM, I found a job with social security and gained a secure income. Thanks to this, I felt the power to make plans for my future,” said Abdulkerim Cısri, one of the trainees of the programme.

As part of the efforts towards sustainability of the established institutions within this programme, completion of digital transformation infrastructure at the 8 Model Factories continues with an accelerating pace, and the job guaranteed vocational training in ASO-SEM and KTO-MEM expand their areas of service.

In the newly launched second phase of the Model Factory project, 6 new centers will be established and the capacity of the existing 8 centers will be enhanced.

UNDP and MoIT continue to empower this successful cooperation where comprehensive interventions on both supply and demand side support business owners and skilled workers with opportunities in line with the needs of the sector.