MINISTER ÖZER: VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTER IS NOT AN EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM, BUT RATHER A TRAINING PROGRAMMinister of National Education Mahmut Özer, who attended the "Vocational Skills Pledge Campaign Protocol" signing ceremony, said that the Vocational Training Center is not an employment program, but rather a training program.
A cooperation protocol was signed between the Ministry of National Education, the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) and UNICEF in order to develop professional skills.
Minister Özer pointed out that with TOBB, they not only built schools, but also took the first step of strengthening the ability and capacity to act together with the sector in vocational education in Türkiye. Stating that this is a very important step from a symbolic point of view, Özer stated that the labor market should be taken into account and acted together with market representatives in order to train qualified personnel for the labor market in vocational education.
Expressing that the protocol in question is an important step in increasing vocational skills and employability in vocational education, Özer stated that they will take this step together with MEB, TOBB and UNICEF.
"You can't be a master if you can't teach." Minister Özer emphasized that in order to be strong in vocational education, the working environments of the labor market should be made a part of education. He stated that this is to establish vocational training centers because these centers meet the needs of apprentices, journeymen and masters.
As of today, 1 million 300 thousand apprentices and journeymen have been reached
Reminding that an important legislative amendment was made on December 25, 2021 to make vocational training centers attractive, Özer emphasized that for the first time, vocational training centers are attractive for employers as they remove the financial burden, and they become attractive for young people in terms of improving the wages of apprentices.
Özer stated the number of apprentices and journeymen in vocational training centers has exceeded 7 times in a short period of 1 year, from 159 thousand to 1 million 300 thousand.
Stating that they have made a revolution in vocational education, Minister Mahmut Özer said that especially small and medium-sized enterprises do not have a problem of not finding the personnel they are looking for. Özer stated that after this point, the business that could not find the employee it was looking for might have a problem with remuneration.
Drawing attention to youth not in employment, education or training (NEET), Minister Özer said that this is a very significant indicator that measures the transitivity performance of the education system and the labor market.
Stating that the average NEET rate of the OECD countries is around 15 percent while it is around 25 percent in Türkiye, Pointing out that the rate of young people who are not involved in either education or employment is a risk for every country, Özer underlined that the NEET rate in 2002 the net rate of 2022 will fall to the OECD average because 81 percent of the 1.3 million apprentices and journeymen are over the age of 18.
Emphasizing that another important contribution to the NEET rate is the dissemination of pre-school education, Özer said that the pre-school education not only strengthens children's academic and non-cognitive skills but also increases parents' participation in employment. He added that this move will increase women's employment and make a significant contribution to the reduction of Türkiye's NEET rate.
Underlining that every step taken in education has the potential to improve not only in that area, but also in every field related to that area Özer said that the productivity in these lands is increasing.
Emphasizing that there is a misperception that 'child labor is increasing' regarding the steps taken in vocational education recently, Özer said that vocational training centers are not an employment program but rather a training program. Therefore, they are perturbed by the expression 'child labor' and the kinds of perception it leads to. Saying that the Ministry of National Education, TOBB, UNICEF and the labor market is satisfied with all the efforts made, he added that some people are disturbed by these developments and said "Let them continue to be disturbed."
A protocol on the "Vocational Skills Pledge Campaign" was signed with the participation of Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer, President of TOBB Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu and UNICEF Representative to Türkiye Regina De Dominicis.