The project, which was funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the US Department of State, provided 1,300 Syrians under temporary protection and Turkish citizens in the provinces of Şanlıurfa, Kilis and Gaziantep with vocational, technical, skills development and entrepreneurship courses in 11 subjects. These included courses in welding, Turkish language training, CNC programming, plastic pipe installation, hairdressing and skin care, patient admission services, woodwork and CISCO Network Systems. Successful trainees will be awarded certificates approved by the Ministry of National Education (MoNe) after competing their courses.
In his keynote address, Numan Özcan, Director of the ILO Office in Turkey, described the year-long project, which started in October 2105, as a “small model” making use of local dynamics to respond to the increasing number of Syrians in the country and improve access to the labour market for both refugees and host communities.
What is needed however, is the implementation of a national action plan that puts a national strategy into action in broader context.”Numan Özcan, Director of the ILO Office in Turkey
The project included seminars in Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa provinces to inform Syrian employees and local employers about work permits for foreigners under Temporary Protection. Institutional capacity needs analysis at both a central and local level were conducted to assess the evolving needs of institutions and organizations providing employment services.
In her opening speech, Director General for Labour of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Nurcan Önder expressed her satisfaction at the Turkish government’s ongoing collaboration with the ILO, while the Ambassador of the US to Turkey, John R. Bass, said the US plans to expand the project’s scope as part of a wider effort to support Syrian refugees.
The ILO project is an important step in the identification and solution of the problems encountered by both Syrian refugees and host communities.”Nurcan Önder, Director General for Labour of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security
Syrian and Turkish trainees who took part in the vocational courses also shared their experiences and expectations at the conference.