For more formal employees, coordination intensifies with SSI

The Transition to Formal Employment Programme-Kayıtlı İstihdama Geçiş Programı (KİGEP), one of the flagship programmes of the ILO Office for Turkey, implemented by the Social Security Institution (SSI), gained momentum recently with information meetings for employers across various cities of Turkey as well as orientation meeting for all provinces participating, held in İzmir

News | 17 March 2020
© Kıvanç Özvardar / ILO
This Orientation Meeting on Transition to Formal Employment Programme “Plus”-which symbolizes the extension of the programme- was held on 9-11 March in İzmir, with the participation of 53 SSI representatives across the 11 cities, Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services (MoFLSS) Directorate of International Labour Force (DGILF) and ILO officers.

The initial KİGEP Programme, has been implemented since 2019 through two ILO projects funded by mainly the MADAD fund of the European Union as well as the U.S Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugee and Migration (USPRM). The incentive scheme of KIGEP Programme includes administrative and financial support for employers to apply for work permits and to cover both work permit application fees and social security contributions.

This programme now continues via the KfW Development Bank and USBRPM funded projects of ILO Office for Turkey and has secured funding until end of 2022. The “Promoting Decent Work for Syrians under Temporary Protection and Turkish Citizens Project”, financed by the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW, aimed to provide incentives for employers who formally employ Syrian and Turkish citizens. Additionally, the incentive scheme is currently backed by another project, named as “Decent Work Opportunities for Refugees and Host Communities in Turkey”.

© Kıvanç Özvardar / ILO

Investing in creation and retention of formal jobs

At the opening speech in İzmir, SSI Izmir Provincial Director Ekrem Gülcemal highlighted the importance of the strong coordination between the institutions and lessons learned from the previous experiences within the programme.

SSI European Union and Foreign Relations Head of Department Dr. Mümine Nurdan Doğukan, “We are happy to facilitate the access to formal employment for more people while bringing our huge technical experience and expertise in coordination with the field offices across all Turkey” said.

The project manager of the “Promoting Decent Work for Syrians under Temporary Protection and Turkish Citizens Project”, Gregor Schulz gave the overall approach of the ILO’s work and their support to refugees and host communities to gain a living in decent working conditions. Schulz, “Investing in creation and retention of formal jobs is critically important for long term strategies to bolster refugees and host communities’ resilience through better access to the formal labour market” stated.

© Kıvanç Özvardar / ILO

KIGEP Plus will support thousands of formal employment

Under the first phase of KIGEP, yet 466 companies have been enrolled in the Programme to get support for formal employment of around 3,500 employees, including Syrians and Turkish citizens. With the support of the KIGEP Plus, it is expected that more than 7,000 employees can benefit from re-imbursement for their social security contributions, as well as work permit fees through their companies.

© Kıvanç Özvardar / ILO