Improving the quality of public employment services
Unemployment is a major concern in Turkey, particularly in the wake of the 2001 economic crisis. At the same time, the public employment service in charge of tackling the unemployment problem by implementing employment policies targeting employers, job seekers and potential entrants to the labour market has been in a phase of major transformation with a new institutional set up and increasing staffing levels. The Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) required support to modernise its services, enhance the know-how and expertise of its staff and increase the quality and outreach of its services. Coordinating employment policymaking and implementation was also a challenge facing the agency.
The aims of the project and its core activities
The purpose of the project was to improve the quality and efficiency of public employment services by strengthening the capacity of İŞKUR and the Ministry of Labour, Social Services and Family as well as provincial offices of İŞKUR and local employment and vocational training boards in this regard.
After establishing or revamping model employment offices in 43 provinces particularly affected by unemployment, İŞKUR’s labour market information system was improved. This included training staff in the methodologies of conducting labour market analyses as well as enhancing online services for employers to advertise jobs and search for staff using the internet. Annual action plans were developed and implemented by the pilot local offices. A system was established to monitor active labour market measures offered by İŞKUR, which will be used for policy planning. The project also involved establishing an internship and on-the-job-training matching system to help undergraduate students plan their careers and to enable unemployed people with an occupation to gain work experience. İŞKUR and MoLSSF staff received training, partly through study visits to EU countries, in job and vocational counselling services, and employment policymaking, among others. Systems were also devised to monitor the performance of the 2,000 job and vocational counsellors the agency hired. Extensive research has been conducted on the priority issues of Turkey’s labour market, taking into account EU developments.
On top of that, İŞKUR prepared individual action plan templates, job and vocational guidance manuals and 45 short films to help jobseekers select an occupation. A wide-ranging publicity campaign was also conducted across the country to increase access to İŞKUR’s services.
To further improve the functioning of provincial employment and vocational training boards, training was offered to their committee members. The project also provided IT equipment for İŞKUR's local offices.