Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Private sector and vocational training are indispensable for each other

01.12.2022 / İstanbul

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, in his speech at the Vocational Education Summit organized jointly by the Ministry of National Education, OECD and ETF in Istanbul, stated that the private sector and vocational education are in a 'sine qua non' position for each other.​

Hisarcıklıoğlu pointed out that technology is developing at a great pace every day and said, “The private sector is also adapting to these new technologies much faster every day. On the other hand, vocational education and the private sector are two concepts which are directly interconnected. There is no vocational education without the private sector, and there is no private sector without vocational training. In order to follow these new technologies and to gain qualified labor force in the business world, we must establish very strong communication and coordination between these two concepts.The way to achieve this is through the cooperation of the Ministry of National Education, which is the regulatory body of national education, and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye, the umbrella organization of the Turkish Business World, and the close work of the Province-District Directorates of National Education and our Chambers-Commodity Exchanges affiliated to TOBB.” The TOBB President said, “It should be said very clearly that with the support of our Minister and the ownership of the private sector, vocational education has become the center of attraction of the education world again.”

In his speech at the Vocational Training Summit attended by the Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer, Hisarcıklıoğlu underlined that as TOBB, the umbrella organization of the Turkish business world, they believe that the priority issue of the country is education. TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu, who stated that they have received education as the most important investment area by acting with this vision, said: “As TOBB, we have provided 153 training facilities to our country so far. But we didn't stop here, we embarked on a new and bigger endeavor. With the protocol we signed with Minister Çavuşoğlu in February, we took action for 154 new schools in 154 districts. And we didn't stop there.Every year, we supported our students in need. Since 2002, we have provided educational assistance to 200,000 of our student brothers and sisters in 81 provinces through our Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, and we continue to do so. During the pandemic, we distributed 30,000 tablet computers with the support of our Chambers and Commodity Exchanges in order to provide equal opportunities in remote education. In higher education, we acted with the same sense of responsibility and did our part.  In order to carry our country and business world into the future, we established TOBB University of Economics and Technology in 2003. Our university has demonstrated its difference with 3 semesters of education per year, 2 foreign language requirements and a common education system.Thus, despite its young age, it has taken its place among the leading universities of our country today. It has become one of the most preferred universities by university candidates.

- The role of the private sector in vocational education has strengthened

As the private sector, we were complaining about the lack of qualified employees and the fact that vocational education did not meet the needs of the private sector. We wanted to increase public-private sector cooperation in vocational education and strengthen the role of the private sector. We wanted vocational training to be the most important tool in meeting the human resources of the private sector. This has been on our agenda for 20 years.Thanks to our Minister Mahmut Özer, we have received both great support and important actions in this regard. In order to make vocational education attractive, we have implemented a first that was signed during his Deputy Minister and continued to accelerate during his ministry. With the Cooperation Protocol in Vocational Education that we prepared together with our Ministry of National Education, TOBB and TOBB ETU, we started the reform movement in vocational education together with our esteemed Minister. Thus, we have turned 121 Vocational and Technical Anatolian High Schools in 81 provinces into a door of hope and expertise for our young people.”

M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that they are trying to ensure the development of our vocational high schools in line with these needs by identifying the human capital needs of the private sector and underlined that they train teachers on new technologies.

- The number of students in vocational training centers has exceeded 1 million

TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu, who stated that the private sector was enabled to recruit interns from vocational high schools and employ graduates with the My Profession My Life Business and Internship Program Protocol, said, “In recent months, we have taken a new step to increase the cooperation of our TOBB-affiliated Chamber-Commodity Exchanges and the Turkish business world with vocational training centers, which are the rising value of vocational education.With the support of our Minister, the number of students in vocational training centers has increased significantly and has risen to over 1 million. We see vocational training centers as an opportunity for our young people who are neither involved in employment nor in education, defined as NEET for short. State support for students in vocational training centers has been increased and the burdens on employers have been lifted. Our state provides support at the rate of 1/3 of the minimum wage for each student in vocational training centers, and in the last year this support increases to half of the minimum wage. Now, as the private sector, we benefit more from vocational training centers. As the Ministry of National Education and TOBB, we are working both to improve the quality of vocational education and for students to prefer vocational education. Because we believe that human capital is the anchor of the competitiveness of the private sector.”

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