Press Release

The Work-Based Learning Programme İŞMEP kicks off in Gaziantep

The International Labour Organization (ILO) continues to support employment opportunities and skills matching with a work-based learning programme in Gaziantep. Through this comprehensive and inclusive programme, designed to provide skills required for vacancies in the labour market, employers and jobseekers are being equipped to cope with the increasing difficulties they are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Press release | 31 August 2021
© Kıvanç Özvardar / ILO
ANKARA (ILO News) - The Work-Based Learning programme, İŞMEP starts for employers and jobseekers in Gaziantep, and will be implemented by the Gaziantep Union of Chambers of Tradesmen and Craftsmen (GESOB).

Through İŞMEP, the new work-based learning programme for Turkish citizens and Syrians under Temporary Protection, beneficiaries can develop, enhance and adapt their skills with the help of on-the-job and off-the-job trainings, and are formally employed and benefitting from social security rights (both short and long term) from day one.

On-the-job trainings will be provided by employers at the workplaces, while off-the-job trainings will be offered by GESOB Vocational Training Center (GESOB-MEM). These vocational trainings will be carried out simultaneously with the job placement activities, in 11 most needed areas in the industry in 2021.

All jobseekers between the ages of 18-40 can apply to İŞMEP. Women, youth and persons with disabilities are particularly encouraged to enrol to the Programme. Moreover, women and persons with disabilities over the age of 40 can also participate in the scheme. Women and persons with disabilities will benefit from additional subsidies such as childcare support to help them overcome additional disadvantages they face in the labour market.

İŞMEP also focuses on youth and recent graduates recognizing that they need opportunities to gain work experience and to develop and practice skills required by the labour market.

“Skills development is crucial to unlock the potential of all workers and fostering decent work opportunities by matching supply and demand for skills. Through İŞMEP, our new skills development programme, we ensure that the qualified workforce that employers need is trained, on the other hand, we support the employees to find better jobs in the labour market,” said Numan Özcan, Director of the ILO Office for Turkey.

The social security premiums of İŞMEP beneficiaries are paid through the Transition to Formal Employment Programme (KIGEP), a flagship programme implemented by the ILO Office for Turkey and the Social Security Institution.

GESOB Chairman Ömer Küsbeoğlu said: “İŞMEP has a great multiplier effect, meeting the needs of tradesmen and craftsmen for a qualified workforce, providing job opportunities to jobseekers and contributing to combatting informality, which is of increasing importance, especially during COVID-19 times”.

In the coming months, İŞMEP will be implemented in Bursa and İstanbul, and applications for those provinces will be open soon.

By the end of 2022, over 2,000 jobseekers (equal number of Turkish citizens and Syrians under Temporary Protection) will be supported in Turkey, by subsidizing wages and work permit fees.


The WBL programme is a support scheme implemented under the “Promoting Decent Work for Syrians under Temporary Protection and Turkish Citizens Project” of the ILO’s Refugee Response Programme. The Project is implemented by the ILO Office for Turkey in coordination with the Directorate General for International Labour Force (DGILF) of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MoLSS) and financed by the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW Development Bank.

For more info:

Kıvanç Özvardar Bahar, Communication Officer, ILO Office for Turkey:

Mehmet Güller, Director, GESOB-MEM,