The EBRD’s inclusion policy dialogue activities leverage its engagement with employers in the private and public sectors to achieve broader systemic impact at national, sectoral and regional levels. This is done by addressing structural, regulatory and other policy challenges to foster equitable access to economic opportunity.
To strengthen its policy engagement, in 2015 the EBRD entered a strategic partnership with the European Training Foundation (ETF), the EU organisation that focuses on education and labour market reforms.
Policy dialogue on inclusion expanded throughout 2015 and early 2016, particularly in relation to the facilitation of public-private dialogue to develop improved vocational and technical skills standards and apprenticeship models.
In Turkey, promoting inclusive economic development in the regions by supporting private firms, with a particular focus on agribusinesses and increasing economic opportunities for women and young labour market entrants, via the EBRD’s projects and policy dialogue are main policy objectives.
Despite steady growth in Turkey, over 35 per cent of young people are not in education, employment or training. At the same time, a significant number of job openings cannot be filled.
In order to achieve its policy objectives the EBRD launched in 2015 a policy dialogue programme to support the development of improved training and skills standards in disciplines that are directly relevant to its clients in labour intense sectors such as manufacturing and agribusiness.
For this purpose, a senior level public-private policy Working Group is being established in partnership with the ETF, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry for Labour and Social Security, the Ministry for Family and Social Policies, and private sector representatives.
In early 2017, the EBRD and the educational authorities of Turkey signed an MOU to join forces to promote greater employment and learning opportunities for young people in the country. The EBRD and the Ministry of National Education will work together with business sector representatives, policy-makers and civil society organisations to overcome this skills mismatch. These endeavours will seek to increase and improve work-based learning opportunities such as apprenticeships, develop standards for vocational skills, expand the testing of qualifications across the country and promote career guidance for young people.
In Jordan, the main policy objective in 2016 and 2017 has been introducing improved national skills standards in hospitality and tourism based on employer needs. To this end, inclusion policy dialogue is linked to projects such as Abdali Mall and Ayla and focuses on the establishment of a sector skills council as a platform for employers to inform national vocational training standards in retail and hospitality.
As part of the policy dialogue, the EBRD has been working closely with the employers to provide training and employment opportunities for Syrian refugee youth and young Jordanians. The EBRD has been working closely with the Ministry of Labour, relevant international organisations, and the private sector on issues such as work permits and addressing the barriers to integrating Syrian refugees in the labour force.
Similar inclusion policy dialogue engagements are under development in other sectors, including power and energy and infrastructure, specifically in Central Asia and the Western Balkans.