EU support changing lives
EU support under IPA in this field covers three main areas: employment, education, and social policies. During the previous IPA I programs to be completed by the end of 2017, €473 million in EU assistance was allocated to Turkey through the Human Resources Development Operational Programme, which has changed the lives of many. Employment opportunities have improved, especially for women and young people.
Thousands of women have grown their businesses with the help of advisory services and bank loans with favourable conditions. Thousands of working mothers received financial incentives to go back to their jobs, while formally employing child carers for their toddlers. Operations implemented in close cooperation with the public, private, and non-governmental sectors and the media contributed to a decrease in unregistered employment rates.
To cope with the rapidly changing global environment, projects have improved the adaptability of Turkish workers and companies through developing work-related skills. Projects for lifelong learning and vocational education and training have improved the qualifications of the workforce and helped reduce skills mismatch in the labour market. Complementary education, scholarships, and conditional cash transfers have allowed many disadvantaged boys and girls, including university students, to continue their studies. Projects on social inclusion improved the situation of groups as diverse as the Roma, people with disabilities, and ex-convicts with a view to upgrade their employment and education conditions and eliminate discrimination against them.
Through the IPA II follow-up program, EU assistance to Turkey in this field continues with the Sectoral Operational Programme on Employment, Education and Social Policies. €435 million will be used over 7 years to invest in people and institutions in order to develop a more inclusive society. This will be done by addressing employment and labour market shortcomings and the effectiveness of social protection and social inclusion policies, promoting decent jobs, enhancing social dialogue, and improving quality and access for all to education and training systems.