Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Capacity Building for Policy-making

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The Union Of Chambers And Commodity Exchanges Of Turkey (TOBB) And Its Activities On Education / Training


TOBB, which is the sole legal entity and the highest organisation in Turkey representing the private sector, attaches great importance to the education and training of the work force in line with the needs and aspirations of the private sector. Accordingly, it is a powerful and visible actor in the field. Parallel to the rising importance of providing our relatively young population with the right qualifications, TOBB has become even more active in this field. The actions and policies of TOBB are provided below:

Representation in All Relevant Governance Mechanisms

TOBB is represented in all governance mechanisms related to education and training in Turkey. Recently, a joint action plan of the public and private bodies has been passed by the Council of Ministers, which has a number of vital measures to ensure the right link between education and employment. For example, one measure aims at the establishment of Management Boards at vocational schools, where chambers are also represented. Another measure is about increasing the funds for vocational training. TOBB is actively participating in working groups for each measure, contributing with new ideas and proposals based also on European examples known through mainly EUROCHAMBERS and other networks and instruments, as well as lobbying for member champers and companies. TOBB is also represented at the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee of the action plan.

In 2006, Vocational Qualifications Authority (VQA) was established in Turkey. The aim of this body is to establish and ensure the functioning of the National Qualifications Framework in Turkey in line with the European Qualifications Framework. Accordingly, it is a public body which authorises private sector or at times public sector institutions to prepare vocational standards and qualifications, and to function as testing centres. TOBB is a member of the Board of Directors and General Assembly and is also represented in the sectoral committees of this body. By this way, it has a say in the preparation of all standards and qualifications, since they have to be approved in relevant sectoral committees and the Board. Moreover, TOBB encourages its members to take part in the process and prepare vocational standards and qualifications in leading sectors of their provinces, by organising meetings with them.

Drafting the Opinion of TOBB on Education & Training Related Issues

Opinions of TOBB on policy documents, draft legislation etc. prepared by public institutions and international institutions are always demanded, and TOBB contributes to these documents. Examples of such documents are Life-Long Learning Strategy Document, issues to be taken into the agenda of Vocational Training Committee, vocational information sheets prepared by Turkish Employment Agency, draft vocational standards prepared by various institutions (especially employers’ unions and chambers), etc.

Project Development

 In 2011, TOBB will start a new IPA-funded and TOBB co-funded project on increasing the adaptability of employers and employees of SMEs by lifelong learning (KUYAP), in relatively less developed provinces of Turkey. More information on this project, which aims at increasing the capacity of SME employers and employees through trainings on general and vocational areas, site and study visits to see best practices abroad and in Turkey as well as the establishment of Training Support and Coordination Centres within 5 Chambers and TOBB, can be found in English at KUYAP site.

Following and Reporting the Developments

Worldwide (especially EU-wide) and national developments on vocational education and training are followed and reported regularly. In these reports, the needs and aspirations of the business world are emphasized.

Cooperation Protocols

TOBB has signed a cooperation protocol on vocational education and training named “Skills 2010” with the Ministry of National Education, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Employment Agency of Turkey and TOBB Economy and Technology University. The project that has been launched with this protocol has four components; (1) labour market needs analysis at 19 pilot provinces based on a field study in each (detailed analysis made through face-to-face interviews, rather than short online surveys), (2) determination of course subjects and preparation the curriculum (2) training of trainers at vocational schools, (3) purchasing of modern machines and other equipments for 111 schools all around Turkey (4) training of selected unemployed people registered at the Employment Agency at the courses mentioned above (5) practical training of the successful trainees at companies and recruitment of the successful ones at these companies. TOBB and its chambers have the most important role in all of these components. Course Management Committees are established at each chamber in all of the 81 provinces of Turkey. The chamber, Ministry of National Education, Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the vocational school are represented in these committees, which are usually presided by the chamber. These committees have the authority to make decisions on the opening of the courses based on the labour market analysis (they will determine the subjects), selection of the trainees, purchasing of the machines and equipment and any other local issue regarding the project. The labour market analyses are implemented by chambers. Chamber staffs in 19 provinces have been trained by TOBB ETU for this purpose. During the interviews, the company is also asked –but not forced- to confirm if it will employ at least one person as a trainee and employ him/her upon successful completion of the traineeship for at least six months. Since these analyses are being implemented only in 19 provinces, another device is used by TOBB to identify the required skills all over Turkey. An online twinning mechanism is developed by the IT department of TOBB, to which all employers will be able to login and send their requests and these requests will be matched with the registered and trained unemployed people in the project database. Finally, the trained unemployed person will be employed at the company.

The project aims at training of 200.000 unemployed a year and employing at least 90% at private sector enterprises, which adds up to 1 million people in total in 5 years time. Another important output of the project will be that the chambers will be much more active in the labour market of their own provinces. They will jointly manage the trainings, needs analysis and equipment of the schools with their public partners in line with the private sector.

TOBB is also a part of the “Vocational Guidance and Counselling Services Cooperation Protocol” that was signed on 26 October 2004 between the Ministry of National Education, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, State Planning Organization, Higher Education Board, Turkish Statistical Institute, TOBB, TESK, TÜRK-İŞ, KOSGEB, National Productivity Centre and TİSK.  The protocol aims at systematizing the vocational counselling services in education, employment and labour market; maintaining coordination among the actions of different actors active in the area; ensuring cooperation and collaboration to achieve the standards in the field in the EU accession process; restructuring life-long vocational counselling services in line with life-long learning principles and finally increasing the efficiency in education and employment.

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