Promoting Decent Work For Syrians Under Temporary Protection and Turkish Citizens

Project Overview

Turkey hosts the highest number of refugees in the world. As such, it faces the challenge of integrating as many as possible of over 3.6 million Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTP), including 2.1 million at working age.

© ILO / Kivanc Ozvardar
Around one million SuTP (Estimate derived from Turkish Employment Agency (ISKUR) and annual Household and Labour Force Surveys) are estimated to be working in Turkey. SuTP have the right to apply for a work permit according to the Regulation on Provision of Work Permits for Foreigners under Temporary Protection from January 2016. Yet according to various labour market studies, including by the ILO, SuTP are mostly employed informally in low-skilled occupations.

Promoting Decent Work for Syrians under Temporary Protection and Turkish Citizens Project aims to facilitate the access of SuTP and Turkish citizens to the formal labour market and supports them to develop, strengthen and upgrade their skills and competences as required.

The number of SuTP and Turkish Citizens as beneficiaries will be equal. A special focus will be placed on the integration of woman into the formal labour market with the expectation that at least 30% of beneficiaries are women.

The project is implemented by the ILO in close cooperation with the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services (MoFLSS), other public agencies and social partners.

Outputs and Activities

The project consists of three major outputs:
  1. SuTP and Turkish citizens will be qualified to participate in the formal labour market.

    The aim is to strengthen, upgrade and adapt the skills of SuTP and Turkish citizens through a tailor-made on-the-job training programme. More specifically, it is planned to match job seekers and employers through the employment agency İŞKUR. The main implementing partner will be İŞKUR and Provincial Directorate of Labour and Employment.
  2. Turkish public agencies will be strengthened to support SuTP and Turkish citizens to access the formal labour market.

    An important element of the project will be to support more inclusive, effective and efficient public employment services delivered through one-stop-shops, particularly at the provincial level, to facilitate access to formal work for SuTP as well as Turkish citizens. One-stop-shops will provide employment services, raise their awareness on the rules and regulations governing their participation in the labour market, providework permit application support as well as referral to training and employment opportunities. The main implementing partners will be the MoFLSS, Directorate General International Labour Force, and İŞKUR General Directorate.
  3. Transition to formality will be facilitated for SuTP and TCs.

    The project will provide support to employers to employ SuTP and Turkish citizens through an incentive scheme. The incentive scheme includes administrative and financial support to apply for work permits and covers social security contributions so that transition from informal to formal employment will be enhanced.
The main partner will be the Social Security Institution (SSI) that will implement the incentive scheme to encourage formal employment of SuTP and Turkish citizens. Chambers of Commerce and Industry will support this.

 Total number of beneficiaries

  • The design of a tailor-made on-the-job-training programme for 3,000 participants.
  • Ten (10) one-stop-shops will be equipped and well-functioning.

              - At least 50,000 SuTP and Turkish citizens will be reached through newly established one-stop-shops.
  • Cost for social security premiums for 8,500 beneficiaries (SuTP and Turkish citizens) will be paid to employers.
  • Cost for work permits for SuTP will be paid.

Target provinces

Ten provinces, indicatively Adana, Ankara, Bursa, Gaziantep, Hatay, Istanbul, Izmir, Konya, Mersin and Şanliurfa,


Financed by the Federal Republic of Germany through German Development Bank (KfW)


December 2018 - December 2020 (Phase I)
December 2020 - May 2023 (Phase II)