UNDP supports İŞKUR to increase access to employment for Syrians and host communities in Turkey since 2017
For the last 5 years, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supports the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) in improving their services to enhance the labour market access of Syrians and host community members in 16 provinces.
The initiative planned to be finalized in June 2022 is supported by Germany through the German Development Bank (KfW) with EUR 3.7 million and implemented by UNDP Turkey in collaboration with İŞKUR in provinces with a sizeable population of Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTPs). The actions have started in Gaziantep, Kilis, Hatay, Şanlıurfa, İstanbul and extended to the additional provinces of İzmir, Konya, Kahramanmaraş, Bursa, Mardin, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Mersin and Osmaniye.
Launched in 2017, the initiative engaged in improvement work in three areas; process improvement of İŞKUR, physical improvement of service centres, and upgrading of İŞKUR’s software infrastructure to facilitate user experience along with the introduction of new-age service facilities like Mobile Bus.
At the 4th Steering Committee meeting of the project on 12 January 2022, Seher Alacacı Arıner, UNDP Turkey Assistant Resident Representative (Programme) addressed that facilitation of access to employment opportunities is at the core of the initiative and supporting decent and sustainable jobs reduces inequalities, and promotes socio-economic empowerment and resilience among communities.
Tuğçe Söğüt, Social Cohesion Projects Coordinator of UNDP Turkey Syria Crisis Response and Resilience Portfolio mentioned that assessments and roadmaps for capacity development and digital transformation of İŞKUR are completed. Based on the outcomes, İŞKUR’s software infrastructure was renewed and re-designed to improve user experience and enable mobile users along with the development of IT capacities of central İŞKUR offices.
Various training courses were organized for İŞKUR staff; the “Training of Trainers” delivered to 52 staff members of İŞKUR addressed the role of trainers, communication, and presentation skills. To improve İŞKUR’s Job Clubs, which is an intensive job and vocational counseling programme aiming to provide technical and motivational support to groups that require special attention, hardware and software support was provided along with a translation of the materials into Arabic. The training on “Migration, Communication and Inter-Cultural Dialogue” was delivered to 350 Job and Vocational Counsellors (JVCs) to raise awareness and facilitate successful inter-cultural communications in Turkey. To facilitate access to the labour markets, 950 Syrians benefitted from the training “Job Search Skills Improvement Programme”, which involves job profiling and CV drafting techniques.
In the context of improving the physical capacity of İŞKUR in pilot provinces, a prefabricated office was constructed for İŞKUR Provincial Directorate of Hatay, and physical upgrading was undertaken in İŞKUR Service Centres at Büyükçekmece, Ümraniye and Sancaktepe districts of Istanbul, and Siverek district of Şanlıurfa. The renovation work for İŞKUR Service Centre in Altındağ district of Ankara was completed, while the construction was commenced for the Job Club building. The “İŞKUR Mobile Service Vehicle” was designed and furnished in line with the “new-generation public service” philosophy to deliver İŞKUR services where there is no İŞKUR office and improve the feasibility and accessibility of service delivery tools and delivered in July 2020 by UNDP to İŞKUR.
UNDP Turkey reinforces individual resilience and promotes social cohesion and local sustainable development through enhancing the access to employment of Syrians and host communities. The initiative is based on UNDP Turkey’s resilience-based development approach which aims to build self-reliance of Syrian refugees and resilience of host communities by expanding labour market access, improving livelihoods, enhancing public services, and building social cohesion.