Employment and Skills Development Project - Component 1

What is the project about?

The objective of the project is to support Syrians and vulnerable host community members to enter the local labour market. The project will do so through strengthening the institutional capacity of İŞKUR to expand active labour market services and adjust capacities and services where needed to respond to the demand for services for both Turkish and Syrian job seekers. The project will be piloted in five provinces (İstanbul, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Hatay and Kilis) with highest number of Syrians with potential to be scaled-up to the national level in the future.

This project is implementing by the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) with the technical support of UNDP and funded by KfW German Development Bank. As the lead agency for the Livelihood Sector for 3RP, UNDP is in close contact with the implementers of the Projects and has a coordination role amongst the implementing partners (i.e. agencies and NGOs) which provide support to İŞKUR focusing on amongst others its capacity for the profiling of Syrian refugees and host community members registered at İŞKUR. At the local level, other partners, including the business community, enterprises as well as NGOs working for Syrian crisis response will also be involved as needed in certain project activities.  

What has been the situation?

Since the beginning of the crisis and influx of Syrians into Turkey, the Government of Turkey has provided an exemplary support to the Syrians-particularly in 19 temporary accommodation centers established mostly in Southeast Anatolia, providing the Syrians with temporary protection status. This status entitles Syrians under temporary protection access to basic services- health, education and employment (right to work provided with “Regulation on Work Permit of Refugees under Temporary Protection” on 15 January 2016). However, as the Syrian population increased and their stay in Turkey is prolonged, the needs of both Syrian and host communities go beyond humanitarian, and call for longer term, more durable solutions. This means additional investments are needed to support self-reliance, including livelihood and employment opportunities and adaptation to the society.

The impact of the crisis has impacted both Syrians and host communities in Turkey. Strengthening capacities to be better able to serve impacted communities is key, at both national and local levels.

What is our mission?

The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the resilience relevant national and local institutions, ISKUR in particular, to be better able to cope with and respond to the impact of the Syria crisis in Turkey. The project is part of the larger UNDP Syria Crisis Response and Resilience Programme and implemented in close coordination with other projects under the programme as well as other partners providing support to ISKUR such as UN agencies, GIZ and the World Bank. The livelihoods and employment pillar of the UNDP Syria Programme focusses on support on employability and access to livelihoods. UNDP addresses the challenges at both labour supply and labour demand side.

This project will mainly address the design and implementation of active labour market policies, to be complemented with other projects aiming to increase labor demand. As such, this project will aim to provide institutional support for the implementation of İŞKUR’s active labour market policies. Considering the real and perceived competition over access to job opportunities, the project activities will target both Syrians under temporary protection and the host communities. 


How are we doing this?

Project will achieve its targets related to employability of both Syrian and host community members through strengthening the institutional capacity of İŞKUR to expand active labour market services and adjust capacities and services where needed to respond to the demand for services for both Turkish and Syrian job seekers.

Capacity Development and Digital Transformation roadmaps will show us how to fill out and identify the gaps between the planned and existing capacities. Therefore, a process of optimization/improvement interventions in select key functions such as registry, counselling, active labour market programmes will be developed in close cooperation with İŞKUR headquarters and local offices. Moreover, digital transformation interventions will be designed within the limits of the project budget and implemented for more effective employment service delivery.

Tailor-made training programmes will be designed and implemented for İŞKUR HQ and local office staff based on the outcomes of the agreed capacity development interventions responding to the process and human resource capacity.

The project will have interlinkages with other projects implemented at the local level for increased labour market absorption. Some of these projects are implemented jointly between UNDP and with other central and local partners, hence direct relationships with these projects will also increase the potential for success of the interventions designed in this project.

How will Turkey benefit?

The project will directly contribute to strengthen capacities of İŞKUR to design and implement active labour market services and extend services to the Syrian communities.

It is targeted to promote İŞKUR Employment services among İŞKUR staff in five  provinces and reflect the outcomes of the Capacity Assessment and Digital Transformation roadmaps to ensure the engagement of İŞKUR Provincial Directorates and to support them in carrying out new İŞKUR services in an efficient manner. Through improved capacity and digitalized services of İŞKUR, 3500 Syrians and 3500 impacted host community members will be benefit from the counselling services provided by the local İŞKUR offices; 4500 Syrians under temporary protection and 4500 impacted host community members will be registered and screened through local İŞKUR offices. Therefore, the project will directly serve and give contribution to the active labor market policies of İŞKUR.

From a wider perspective, the project will ultimately contribute to the improvement of the legal and policy framework, and institutional capacity and accountability mechanisms to be assured in more enabling (competitive, inclusive and innovative) environment for sustainable, job-rich growth and development for all women and men.