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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.4 Career guidance and counselling

Last update: 20 March 2024
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  1. Career guidance and counselling services
  2. Funding
  3. Quality assurance

Career guidance and counselling services

Career development is an activity offered to individuals who want to choose a profession and those looking to enhance their professional skills or change their career/job., Through its "job and career counseling" service, Turkish Employment Agency (ISKUR) aims to determine whether the personal characteristics and skills of job seekers or those considering a career change align with the labour market. By identifying individuals' suitability for specific jobs, effective guidance is provided to direct the right job seekers to the right jobs and the right trainees to the right courses. In this regard, job and career counseling is the most cost-effective method among active employment policy tools. 

  • Job and career counseling provides services by specializing in the form of job seeker counseling, employer counseling, career counseling, job clubs, and coaching for disabled individuals.
  • Job seeker counseling provides service to individuals who need of assistance with job searching and finding employment. • Employer counselors are responsible for agency services directed to employers.
  • Career counseling is responsible for guidance services provided to educational institutions and students.
  • Through job clubs, difficult-to-employ job seekers such as women and young people are grouped based on specific characteristics and group activities are conducted in accordance with the principles of peer learning, role modelling and mentorship counseling.
  • Counselling services are provided to registered individuals with disabilities by disability coaches and mandatory quota compliance for workplaces are also monitored.

Each job seeker registering with the organization is assigned a job and career counselor within 24 hours. This ensures personalized monitoring and specialization for individuals. Job and career counselors record each meeting on individualized pages, allowing the outputs of previous meetings with individuals to be incorporated into subsequent discussions.

Career counseling services reach students, parents, and guidance counselors through school visits, career introduction days, and parent/guidance counselor meetings. The goal of career counseling is to raise awareness among young individuals about the importance of career and job choices, provide information about workplaces, professions, and educational opportunities and assist them in understanding themselves better.

Furthermore, career counselors provide employment skills development training to vocational training center, vocational high school, vocational school, and university final-year students, as well as to soldiers who are about to complete their military service in order to assist in job search, finding employment, retaining a job, employer interviews and resume preparation.

The aim is to raise awareness among young individuals about the importance of career and job choices, provide them with information about workplaces, professions and educational opportunities and assist them in self-discovery. Additionally, within the scope of job counseling, job seekers who apply to the institution and unemployed individuals receive training in developing job search skills in order to assist vocational training center, vocational high school, vocational college and university senior students, as well as soldiers completing their military service in areas such as job searching, securing employment, retaining a job, meeting with employers and preparing resumes.

Since 2009, ISKUR has been recognized as the national representative of the European Guidance Centre (Euroguidance) network. Euroguidance aims to enhance collaborations in the field of career counseling across Europe. The activities carried out within the scope of vocational counseling under the ISKUR are listed below:

ISKUR Campus: ISKUR Campus service is provided at universities with the aim of offering job and career counseling services to university students and increasing the accessibility of such services. The target audience for this service is university students. The stakeholders are university administrations and career centers. The primary activities involve registration, job and internship application processes and providing training on interview techniques and job search skills.

Career Counseling: Career counseling services are provided for students who are in the process of making decisions about their field of study or profession, as well as university students in the stage of career planning with the aim of introducing them to themselves, professions and educational opportunities and providing more detailed information about vocational orientation. The target audience for these activities includes secondary school students, parents, and guidance counselors, while stakeholders are formal school administrators and guidance counselors. As part of these services, visits are made to educational institutions and meetings are held with school administrators and guidance counsellors in order to give information about the importance of career choices, job search skills and interview techniques.

Directorate General Of Child Services (CHGM) – ISKUR Collaboration Activities: Within the scope of collaboration with CHGM, vocational counseling activities are carried out to support the employment and career planning of children in need of protection. The target audience of the activity are children and students residing in CHGM dormitories and the stakeholders are CHGM dormitory managers. The primary activities aim to enhance the basic knowledge of children staying in dormitories regarding the labor market, contributing to their personal development.

Occupational Introduction Days: Occupational Introduction Days involve presentations of various professions including the most preferred ones at the undergraduate level in Türkiye and those considered as future professions. The presentations are conducted by experts in the respective fields. The target audience of the activity are students and young individuals in the process of choosing a profession. The stakeholders are the educational institution administrators organizing the activity and the professionals in the respective fields. Within the scope of the activity, professionals provide insights into their professions, while career counselors deliver presentations on the importance of career choice and job search skills. 

Job Clubs: The Job Clubs are an intensified career counseling program aimed at increasing motivation and providing methodological support for groups requiring special policies, such as women, young people, people with disabilities, long-term unemployed individuals, former convicts and individuals with a history of substance abuse treatment. The target audience of the activity includes women, young people, long-term unemployed individuals, people with disabilities and Roma individuals. Collaborations can be formed based on the target group. The fundamental activities involve grouping job seekers with difficulties in employment according to specific characteristics, conducting peer learning, role model studies, and group sessions based on the principles of mentorship counseling. 

Job Search Skills Training: Training sessions are provided by ISKUR to enhance job search skills, including searching for employment, securing a job, negotiating with employers and preparing resumes. The target audience for these activities is job seekers. The primary goal of this initiative is to ensure that individuals are ready for the job market. For this purpose, developing individuals' independent job search processes, increasing interview competencies and providing information about job search channels are aimed. 

The Vocational Orientation Test Battery: The Vocational Orientation Test Battery is one of the measurement tools used within the scope of counseling services to assist in defining individuals' characteristics. The test consists of 346 questions. The target audience is young people in the process of choosing a profession and job seekers. This activity is provided through the Institution's website. The activity does not analyse the personality inventory, vocational tendencies, or abilities of the test-takers; instead, it aims to determine suitable fields for them.

Employment Fair and Career Days: Employment fairs and career days are organized to bring workers, employers, and relevant organizations together under the same roof. These events aim to allow employers to assess their workforce needs, provide an opportunity for preliminary interviews between candidates and company representatives, create an employment environment and increase awareness of ISKUR's services among the public. These activities, facilitated through collaboration with social stakeholders particularly universities, local governments and other relevant institutions bring local suppliers and demanders of labor together at the local level. They establish a permanent and institutional communication mechanism among the parties involved in vocational education, employment and human resources. 

Virtual Employment Fair: With the digitization of public services, traditional fairs have evolved into virtual employment fairs. This transition aims maximize the benefit of white-collar workers and young individuals from our institution's activities for white-collar workers and young people, ensuring that special interest groups, particularly young people and individuals with disabilities can access our services more effectively. This initiative is designed to serve specific groups requiring special policies, especially young people and individuals with disabilities. In recent times, virtual fairs with a focus on the IT sector have been implemented to introduce young people, especially students in relevant departments of universities to the labor market.

Vocational Guidance Magazine: Each year, a Vocational Guidance Magazine is prepared and digitally published to increase the knowledge and interest levels of students, parents, and teachers in the formal education stage who are in the process of choosing a profession. 

Occupational Information Booklets: Occupational Information Booklets have been prepared to support students in middle and high school levels throughout Türkiye, as well as individuals in the process of career selection and career development. These booklets contain information about 250 different professions.

Occupational Information Files: Occupational information files are resources developed by our institution that individuals from all walks of life can refer to acquire information about professions. These files serve as informative sources introducing occupations, covering standard topics such as the name, definition, duties, required characteristics, work environment and conditions, vocational training, working areas, job opportunities, post-education earnings and career progression for a specific profession.

The Internship Portal: The Internship Portal is a completely free platform designed for high school, university, master's, and doctoral level individuals. It allows young people to view open internship positions suitable for their qualifications in various workplaces.

Career Door: Career counseling is provided by career counselors through the "Yetenek Kapısı" (Talent Door) platform which is made available to university students/graduates and university career centers in collaboration with the Presidency Human Resources Office in order to ensure that young people receive faster and more effective counseling services. 

The Lifelong Learning Strategy Document and Action Plan (Hayat Boyu Öğrenme Strateji Dokümanı ve Eylem Planı) has been designed to provide lifelong guidance and counselling services which will assist employees in improvement in their careers and thinking of alternative job opportunities in addition to vocational guidance services provided to job seekers. The vocational guidance and counselling services is one of the basic components of the lifelong learning system.

The VQA (Vocational Qualifications Authority) has guaranteed provision of guidance and counselling services to individual under its responsibility by means of institutional legislative arrangements and international documents. The VQA as the EQF (European Qualifications Framework) National Coordination Point (NCP) of Turkey, qualifications and the TQF (Turkish Qualifications Framework) provide stakeholders with technical knowledge and guidance in many subjects such as common and free learning. The VQA which is also the National Europass Centre carries out activities such as management of Europass documents, promotion of Europass and Europass documents and effectively informing the information and guidance centres of Europass and Europass documents. In the VQA institutional legislation it is an obligation to provide guidance services to applicants and candidates by Certification Bodies authorized to carry out measurement, assessment and certification activities in line with the elements defined in UYs (National Qualifications).

University Career Centres have been established in many universities in Turkey based on Article 7 of the Law on Higher Education. Basic purpose of these centres is to ensure improvement of competencies of candidate students, students and graduated people in terms of career planning and improvements relating to their skills, knowledge and qualifications and to contribute in improvement of human resources potential and performance of Turkey.


All services provided within the scope of job and career counseling by the Turkish Employment Agency (ISKUR) are free of charge; the vocational counseling services are financed from its own budget.

The Vocational Qualifications Authority (Mesleki Yeterlilik Kurumu) is a public institution with special budget. The activities relating to improvement of National Vocational Standards and National Qualifications are, in general, carried out under cooperation protocols made between the Vocational Qualifications Institution and establishments which are able to represent industries and on voluntary basis. Costs of services measurement, assessment and certification and related audit activities and guidance services arising out of such activities as well as, when necessary, development of National Vocational Standards and National Qualifications are met from the Agency’s budget and such services are under the field of activity of the Agency.

Quality assurance

The Authorized Certifications Bodies are subject to regular qualification and quality monitoring activities by the Turkish Accreditation Agency (TURKAK-Türk Akkreditasyon Kurumu) and the Vocational Qualifications Authority (VQA). The surveillance audits made by the VQA are carried out at least once every two year and during the surveillance audits fulfilment of requirements given under the title “Requirements for Authorization” is assessed. The items assessed during the audits also cover provision of guidance and counselling services for individuals making applications to establishments through a certification application. During the surveillance audits compliance of establishments to relevant requirements and procedures is assessed and the audits are based on the assessments, processes employed and the records obtained after such processes. Results of such audits are reported to establishments and establishments are informed of any inconsistency identified in the report. Establishments should conduct corrective and prevention actions for the inconsistencies and inform the body (TURKAK or the VQA) making the audit of the actions taken and their results.

In Türkiye, all qualifications organized according to learning outcomes and the principle of levelling and ensured for quality assurance are included in the Turkish Qualifications Framework. The criteria for the quality assurance of qualifications are regulated by the Regulation on Ensuring the Quality Assurance of Qualifications (Quality Assurance Regulation) to be Included in the Turkish Qualifications Framework. The Quality Assurance Regulation and the quality assurance documents prepared within this framework have been designed to be in line with the quality assurance criteria of the European Qualifications Framework.  All institutions and organizations regulating qualifications, including the Ministry of National Education, Vocational Qualifications Authority, Council of Higher Education, and universities are obliged to comply with the quality assurance criteria of Turkish Qualifications Framework .