Turkey: Growth with Decent Work for All

Turkey’s impressive economic growth in the last decade has not been matched by a strong growth in job creation. Even though overall unemployment has declined in recent years, the youth jobless rate was more than 18% in 2011, twice the national average, with young women only half as likely to be working as young men. The Joint Programme's goal was to improve job opportunities for women and young people as a way to reduce poverty, with a focus on vulnerable migrant populations in the Antalya region.  

The programme, a collaboration between the Turkish national employment agency and four UN agencies, supported the adoption and implementation of employment policies at the national and local level that benefit the most vulnerable groups in the labor market within the context of Turkey’s east-west migration. Its objectives were: 

  1. To support the preparation and adoption of a National Youth Employment Action Plan (NYEAP) by the Turkish Employment Agency (ISKUR); and
  2. To increase the capacities and systems of local authorities in Antalya, Turkey’s top migration receiving city, to boost employment of vulnerable youth, including young women and migrants.

Main achievements included:

  • The programme supported the development of the National Youth Employment Action Plan, which was adopted by the Turkish Employment Agency (ISKUR). The plan received financial commitments from ISKUR and the Ministry of Labor.
  • The programme conducted a Baseline Research for Local Monitoring of Migration Impacts on the Labor Market and Employment. The study, the first of its kind in Turkey, was finalized and its findings compiled and presented.
  • Employability and Vocational training and other capacity-building programs reached more than 1,600 unemployed and migrant young men and women. A new approach to entrepreneurship training for young people was also piloted, as well as innovative training for women working in the agricultural sector that will contribute to both the local economy and the provision of decent work for women and migrants.
  • More than 1200 young people benefitted from an innovative Basic Life Skills training, which has the potential for integration to the broader ISKUR vocational training program.
  • The programme attracted a high level of active engagement by stakeholders at the local and national levels. Clustering initiatives in the Yacht Building, Cut Flower and Health Tourism sectors produced high dividends for the local economy and attracted major funding from the Ministry of the Economy.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Turkey.



The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 02 Oct 2009 - 02 Jan 2013
Net funded amount $3,828,551
Participating UN agencies IOM, UNDP, FAO, ILO
National partners Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Labor and Social Security
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