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 Syrians (Estimate derived from Turkish Employment Agency (ISKUR) and annual Household and Labour Force Surveys) are estimated to be working in Turkey. Following the conflicts that sparked in 2011, Turkish Government has provided temporary protection status to Syrian refugees who were forced to flee to Turkey. Syrians 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, Syrians 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 Syrians 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.

© ILO / Kivanc Ozvardar

Outputs and Activities

The project consists of three major outputs:
  1. Syrians 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.
  2. National and local institutions will be supported to deliver services for Syriansand 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 Syrians 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.
  3. Transition to formality will be facilitated for Syrians and Turkish citizens..

    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.

    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.

 Total number of beneficiaries

  • On-the-job trainings will be provided to 2,800 participants.
  • 10 one-stop-shops will provide counselling and referral services on formal employment to employers and job seekers.
    • 50,000 labour market consultations will be delivered through one-stop-shops.
  • Cost for social security premiums for 8,000 beneficiaries (Syrians and Turkish citizens) will be paid to employers.
  • Cost for work permits for 4,000 Syrians will be paid.

© ILO / Kivanc Ozvardar

Target provinces

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


Financed by the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW Development Bank


December 2018 - December 2020 (Phase I)
December 2020 - December 2022 (Phase II)