"Vocational and Technical Education Cooperation Protocol" was signed between the Ministry of National Education and İstanbul Teknopark A.Ş.

Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer gave brief information about the recent history of vocational education during the ceremony organized on the occasion of signing "Vocational and Technical Education Protocol." The protocol was signed between the Ministry of National Education and İstanbul Teknopark A.Ş. aims at managing vocational education and employment of students enrolled in vocational education centers, providing scholarship support to students and raising the quality of human resources for companies affiliated to the Teknopark İstanbul.
Reminding that vocational education was not being able to respond to the demands of the labor market due to wrong education policies and social engineering projects, Minister Özer stated that coefficient practice that prevented imam hatip and vocational high school graduates from enrolling in university programs caused a great harm in the society.
Özer noted that after the lift of coefficient practices in 2012, the Ministry of National Education initiated important campaigns in an effort to reinforce vocational education.
"We have decided to include labor market representatives to the education process. We updated curriculum and plan skill training and internship programs together. We also design training programs for teachers who play a crucial role in the quality of vocational education. We expect the labor market to prioritize vocational education graduates in employment," said Özer.
Stressing that the last couple of years marked the beginning of a new development era of vocational education, Özer stated, "With this approach, we have founded ASELSAN Vocational and Technical Anatolia High School.  Most successful students in the LGS exams enrolled in this school. Later, we founded Teknopark Vocational High School, İstanbul Technical University and Yıldız Technical University Vocational and Technical Anatolia High Schools. With a similar approach, we have been involved in cooperation with İSO, İTO and different chambers of trade and industry. Our cooperation protocols gave results within a short period of time. Now, the production capacity of vocational education has reached an important level. In 2021, the income of vocational education from its production capacity increased to 1 billion and 161 million from 200 million liras. Our target for 2022 is 1,5 billion liras."
Özer also mentioned training programs about patent, useful model, brand and design registrations organized in vocational education institutions and vocational schools started to make the registration of their productions through R&D centers.
"In the past, vocational schools were registering 3 products every year. In August of 2022, the number of registered products of vocational education was 7 thousand and 538. We have exceeded our goal for 2022 which is 7 thousand and 500. Actually our goal was about commercialization of our products. Vocational high schools achieved this goal and 74 of their products are commercialized. Moreover, they started to export their products," said Özer.
Reminding that vocational high schools played an important role during the Covid-19 pandemic when they produced most needed products such as masks, disinfectants, mask machines, antigen kits and ventilators, Özer said that they recently cooperated with the Ministry of Agriculture in order to carry out joint management of agricultural vocational schools and make agricultural production.
"A country as strong as its vocational education," stated Özer adding that amendment in the Vocational Education Law No. 3308 turned vocational education to an attractive mechanism for both students and employers.
Before the amendment, the number of apprentices and foremen in Türkiye was 159 thousand and today it reached 580 thousand.
"All employers and students want to become a part of this process. Every student is paid 30 percent of minimum wage every month and this salary is paid by the state. Foremen students are getting 50 percent of minimum wage as a monthly salary. We want to increase the number of students enrolled in vocational education centers to 1 million until the end of 2023 as mentioned by our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan," said Özer.
According to the Protocol, a vocational education center will be founded in the Teknopark İstanbul.
"There are approximately 8 thousand 300 employment opportunities in the Teknopark İstanbul complex. All companies can employ apprentices and foremen enrolled in the vocational education center. Moreover, in addition to the 1,700 liras monthly salary provided by our Ministry, the Chief of Teknopark İstanbul Executive Board and his team will give 500 liras scholarship to students of the center. Most important of all, they will have employment guarantee," added Özer.

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