Turkey—Technical Assistance for Improving Job and Vocational Counselling Services

Client: European Union

Duration: 2020-2023

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Turkey

Solutions: Economic Growth

Turkey’s labor market suffers from low employment rates, particularly among women and young people, and a mismatch between the demand for, and supply of, labor. The number of individuals with university or vocational qualifications has outpaced the market’s ability to absorb such workers. The private sector currently plays a limited role in fostering the demand for more and better skills—and 30 percent of the country’s gross domestic product is linked to the informal sector, contributing to Turkey’s low productivity relative to the European Union.

The Technical Assistance for Improving Job and Vocational Counselling Services project supports the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) to fulfil its mandate as the country’s lead provider of public employment services. İŞKUR maintains a presence in all of Turkey’s provincial directorates, and with 3.5 million people registered as unemployed in 2018, there is significant demand for its services.

At the agency’s 2018 staffing levels, each job and vocational counsellor was responsible for an estimated 900 unemployed people. While İŞKUR’s recruitment of 830 counsellors in 2019 improved this ratio, the agency still faces an urgent need deliver its services as effectively and efficiently as possible.

To do so, the project is developing İŞKUR’s institutional and human capacities, along with innovative tools to improve job matching and career guidance services and awareness-raising measures and coordination mechanisms.

Sample Activities

  • Build the capacity of İŞKUR staff on policymaking.
  • Train job and vocational counsellors on policy implementation.
  • Develop vocational orientation tests and online counselling applications.
  • Produce awareness-raising short movies about İŞKUR and its services.
  • Support the organization of career expo and international congress of employment policies.
  • Conduct studies on inclusive service delivery models for disadvantaged groups, effective cooperation mechanisms, and IŞKUR employment fairs and career days.
  • Help organize international mutual exchange activities and workshops with university career services.
  • Improve coordination and cooperation with private employment agencies, social partners, and nongovernmental organizations.


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