Press Release

The first Information Centre opens in Gaziantep to support the formalization of Turkish and Syrian informal enterprises and employees

Press release | 21 October 2021
20 October 2021, Gaziantep - The opening ceremony of the first Information Centre was held today in Gaziantep in the premises of the Union of Chambers of Tradesmen and Craftsmen (GESOB) with the high-level participation of national, international and local authorities.
The Information Centre, referred locally as the GESOB BILMER, will support the formalization of Syrian and Turkish informal enterprises and employees through strengthening the service delivery and outreach capacity of the union.

The Information Centre also delivers guidance and counselling to tradesmen and craftsmen and their employees to increase their awareness on the rules and regulations governing the labour market. In addition, the Centre provides work permit application support for Syrians under Temporary Protection as well as referrals to training and employment opportunities for both Turkish and Syrian workers and jobseekers. By doing so, the Information Centre also contributes to strengthening dialogue with tradesmen and craftsmen through field visits conducted by the consultants.

“Decent working conditions matter for everyone, everywhere. With close collaboration with our partners, we support business and jobs were there is the large rise in needs driven by socio-economic pressures to provide services for increasing population and COVID-19. We will continue to strengthen capacities of institutions to ensure that services are accessible to all so that we retain and build decent jobs, not just any jobs. As such, decent jobs allow us to live with dignity, peace, economic development and personal fulfilment”, said Numan Özcan, Director of the ILO Office for Turkey, in his speech during the ceremony.

“As KfW Development Bank, our financial support for refugees and host communities in Turkey, within the scope of ongoing projects, has reached 1 billion Euros. This project is one of the most important projects for us and has made significant contributions to date. Information is the most important tool to raise awareness and our information center, which will contribute to support formalization of informal employment in Gaziantep, will also provide benefits for both businesses as well as national institutions” said Melih Çadırcı, KfW Development Bank Deputy Country Director.

Sadettin Akyıl, Director General of International Labour Force, Ministry of Labour and Social Services, said:” While our country was a transit country for migration, it has become a destination country. Employment is the most important search for migrants, but registered employment is an important problem. We have taken great steps in the fight against informal employment and thanks to this information center, we will guide in which sectors the applications should be made based on the needs, taking into account the local labour market balances”.

“With GESOB BİLMER we opened today, we will be working to reduce informality in our province to the lowest levels by providing technical and financial support to the informal business and employees”, said Ömer Küsbeoğlu, GESOB President.

Sinan Özkan, Deputy General Secretary of Turkish Confederation of Tradesmen and Craftsmen expressed their gratitude and emphasized that this information center will support the increase of qualified workforce.

Davut Gül, Governor of Gaziantep pointed that the support to the labour market and the fight against informal work will be strengthened with the guidance and referral made from this information center.

The Information Centre is established within and in partnership with Gaziantep Union of Chambers of Tradesmen and Craftsmen under the Project “Promoting Decent Jobs for Syrians under Temporary Protection and Turkish citizens” implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for Turkey in close cooperation with the Directorate-General for International Labour Force (DGILF) and in coordination with the Turkish Confederation of Tradesmen and Craftsmen (TESK). The project is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW Development Bank.

In addition to the Information Centre in Gaziantep, up to nine additional Information Centres will be established within other unions of chambers of tradesmen and craftsmen by the end of 2022, offering up to 10,000 labour market consultations for informal enterprises and facilitating up to 2,400 formalizations through consultations in Information Centres across several provinces of Turkey. Up to 10 percent of BILMER beneficiaries’ transition to formality will also be facilitated through financial support.<