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

The labour market in Turkey suffers from low employment rates, particularly among women and young people, with a relatively high proportion of young people in the country, and a mismatch between the demand for, and supply of, labour. The supply of workers with university or vocational qualifications has outpaced the labour market’s ability to absorb such workers. The role of the private sector in fostering the demand for more and better skills is also relatively limited. Finally, 30 percent of gross domestic product is linked to the informal sector, which explains 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 lead provider of public employment services in Turkey.

The Agency is present in all provincial directorates, but with 3.5 million people registered as unemployed in 2018, there is significant demand for İŞKUR’s services.

At current staffing levels, it is estimated that each of its job and vocational counsellors are responsible for nearly 900 unemployed people. While the recruitment of 830 counsellors in 2019 (until December) facilitated an improved ratio of unemployed people per counsellor, the need for İŞKUR to deliver its services as effectively and efficiently as possible is paramount.

Our project develops the institutional and human capacities of the Agency, alongside the development and utilisation of innovative tools designed to improve job matching and career guidance services and the further development of 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 organisation of career expo and international congress of employment policies.
  • Conduct studies on inclusive service delivery models for disadvantaged groups, effective cooperation mechanisms, and evaluation of IŞKUR employment fairs and career days.
  • Support the organisation of international mutual exchange programmes, workshops with career centres of universities.
  • Improve coordination and cooperation with private employment agencies, social partners, and nongovernmental organisations.


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