Turkey’s Adana to set up vocational training centre with EBRD-UNDP help

By Olga Rosca

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  • EBRD and UNDP join forces to help Adana Chamber of Industry set up educational hub
  • Rise in population in Turkey’s south-east has increased unemployment
  • Vocational training centre aims to equip young people with skills needed in labour market

Young people in Turkey’s south-east will be able to receive vocational training that will help them find jobs, thanks to a centre to be set up in the city of Adana by the local Chamber of Industry with the help of the EBRD and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It is the first time that the EBRD and the UNDP join their operational efforts with a financial agreement.

The educational hub will aim to provide training programmes to local young people to equip them with skills sought by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region.

South-eastern Turkey – including the provinces of Adana, Mersin and Hatay – is experiencing a high level of unemployment. An increase in population, partly due to the arrival of refugees from neighbouring Syria, has led to youth joblessness of up to 40 per cent in some towns, twice the national average. The majority of unemployed young people are not involved in any educational training programmes.

Providing vocational training to these young people – locals and refugees alike – will prepare them better for the requirements of the local job market. The move is expected to boost employment and the inclusion of young workers in the economy.

The Adana project builds on the success of the Gaziantep Vocational Centre, which was set up by the local chamber of industry and commerce with the help of the UNDP. The EBRD helped the centre to receive national accreditation as a testing centre for the assessment of skills.

Claudio Tomasi, Resident Representative of UNDP Turkey, said: “Leveraging UNDP’s long-lasting experience and know-how on local socio-economic development accumulated in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, in the context of the Syrian crisis response, UNDP facilitated the establishment and operationalisation of a Vocational Training Centre in Gaziantep in collaboration with Gaziantep Chamber of Industry. Since 2016, it has been providing specialised occupational capability development services to the Syrians under temporary protection hosted by Gaziantep as well as to the members of the local community. Now, UNDP will carry over its expertise to Adana in the provision of technical assistance to the Adana Chamber of Industry in the conduct of sectoral analyses, demand analyses, development of business models, design and implementation of capacity development programmes, and the physical design of the Adana Vocational Training Centre.”

Zeki Kıvanc, the Chairman of the Board of the Adana Chamber of Industry, added: “Based on the needs of the local labour market and the demands arising from SMEs in the region, customised training modules will be designed in cooperation with the Turkish Employment Agency İŞKUR and the Small and Medium Industry Development Organisation KOSGEB.”

Barış Dinçer, EBRD Deputy Director for Turkey and Head of the Bank’s Ankara office, commented: “We are very pleased to launch this important regional project with the Adana Chamber of Industry and the United Nations Development Programme’s Turkey Office. It is the first partnership between the EBRD and the UNDP and is a great example of international institutions working together towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Encouraging greater opportunities for young people, women and those living in remote areas are among the priorities in the EBRD’s recently adopted five-year strategy for Turkey.”

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Turkey and has invested in excess of €11.5 billion in more than 300 projects there since 2009. The overwhelming majority of EBRD investments in Turkey are in the private sector.

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