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Promoting lifelong learning Social Policy


Lifelong learning programmes in the form of non-formal training can play a key role in helping disadvantaged persons, especially women, by providing them with basic skills and competences. Clearer policy goals and greater coordination between all the major stakeholders – including the Ministry of National Education, vocational, educational and training (VET) institutions, the Vocational Qualifications Authority (VQA), Vocational Knowledge and Skills Testing and Certification (VocTest) centres, as well as trade unions and employer organisations – were required to promote the development and implementation of coherent and comprehensive strategies for lifelong learning.

The project’s aims and core activities

The aim of this project was to establish an institutional framework and capacity for lifelong learning in line with EU practices so as to support individuals’ access to education, and thus increase their employment opportunities.

At the central level, a national lifelong learning coordination unit and management information system was established to prepare the basis for the development of a national lifelong learning strategy and action plan.

Support was also offered to the Vocational Qualifications Authority (VQA) and VocTest centres to implement a fully functional National Qualification System in line with the European Qualifications Framework.

At the regional level, the capacity of existing VET institutions was strengthened to enable them to offer new lifelong learning courses that were developed to correspond with the needs of the local labour market.

Local, regional, and national networks (focus groups) were also set up to bring together public and private-sector partners on the issue of lifelong learning and to promote it by raising awareness among stakeholders.

A grant scheme to support innovative approaches to lifelong learning was also established in 12 provinces where the project was piloted.



IPA I (2007–2013)


  • Budget: €12.77 million (EU contribution €10.85 million)
  • Province: Nationwide, Adıyaman, Ağrı, Amasya, Ardahan, Artvin, Batman, Bayburt, Bingöl, Bitlis, Çankırı, Çorum, Diyarbakır, Elâzığ, Erzincan, Erzurum, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gümüşhane, Hakkâri, Hatay, Iğdır, Kahramanmaraş, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Malatya, Mardin, Muş, Ordu, Osmaniye , Rize, Samsun, Şanlıurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Şırnak, Sivas, Tokat, Trabzon, Tunceli, Van, Yozgat
  • (Focusing on the 43 above-mentioned provinces in 12 NUTS II regions, by means of 12 pilot provinces - Erzurum, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Malatya, Mardin, Samsun, Şanlıurfa, Trabzon, Van)
  • Status: Completed in 2013