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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.5 Traineeships and apprenticeships

Last update: 11 January 2021
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  1. Official guidelines on traineeships and apprenticeships
  2. Promoting traineeships and apprenticeships
  3. Recognition of learning outcomes
  4. Funding
  5. Quality assurance

Official guidelines on traineeships and apprenticeships

Traineeship and apprenticeship in Turkey are regulated by the Law on Vocational Training and the Regulation on Vocational and Technical Training. A trainee is the person who is employed by an employer in order to improve his/her knowledge level by observing practices and to learn activities carried out by a workplace. An apprentice is a person who improves on-the-job knowledge, skills and working habits required by a profession in accordance with principles set forth in apprenticeship agreement in the Law on Vocational Training. In accordance with Article 18 of the Law on Vocational Training No 3308 a public and private institution, establishment or workplace producing products or services and employing more than nine personnel provide skills training to students of vocational and technical educational schools and institutions provided that their number is not less than five per cent of the total number of employees. Regarding university students, students who have to make traineeship under the educational and training program they are studying and students whose traineeship is found appropriate by the school upon their applications although they do not have make traineeship are covered by the trainee status.

The Regulation on Vocational and Technical Training issued to determine rules and procedures relating to many subjects of apprenticeship which is covered by the title Vocational and Technical Training is an official guide. The basic legal arrangement relating to management and implementation of the Turkish Qualifications Framework (TQF) which aims to cover all general training qualifications, vocational qualifications and academic qualifications is “the Regulation on Rules and Principles relating to Implementation of the Turkish Qualifications Framework” which was put into force by a Cabinet Decision.

The Regulation was put into force by being published in the Official Gazette of 19/11/2015 and No 29537 and has been developed to regulate rules and procedures relating to development, improvement, implementation and updating of the TQF in line with the activities carried out in order to develop policies, processes and protocols that will ensure functionality of the TQF by taking into account the principles relating to implementation and management of the TQF.

In addition, each educational and vocational institution which requires traineeship develops guidelines in which requirements and method of traineeship are explained in details. 


Promoting traineeships and apprenticeships

The On-the-Job Training Program which is one of the active labour market programs employed by the Turkish Employment Agency in order to reduce unemployment is an on the job learning program aimed at ensuring that unemployed people registered to the Turkish Employment Agency reinforce their professional knowledge at workplaces registered to the Turkish Employment Agency through practices and learn business and production processes. Basic aim of the program is to instil those without any vocational experience and job experience with vocational and job experience and to enhance their employability. Another aim is to provide employers encountering problems in providing qualified labour force with the opportunity to inquire about the persons to be employed and to take the right decision in terms of recruitment by observing such persons on the job and providing them with trainings.

Accordingly, people seeking job but not having job experience are provided with job experience and employers find the opportunity to train the needed labour force so both employers and job seekers have the right job and right recruitment opportunities. Employers wishing to organize On-the-Job Training program are able to organize a program by selecting the persons who will participate in such program. Even though this Program is open to general public, program in the certain sectors is only accessible to young people between 18-29. The programs peculiar to  young people are cyber security, cloud computing, game development, coding, these programs can only be benefited by young people between the ages of 18-29, and these programs last for 9 months.

The vocational qualification certificate is not obligatory for those having a mastership certificate in accordance with the Law on Vocational Training of 5/6/1986 and No 3308 and those graduated from vocational or technical schools of the Ministry of National Education or from schools or departments of universities offering vocational and technical education and working at braches, areas or fields specified in their mastership certificates. According to this Law individuals are obliged to receive apprenticeship training or have vocational qualification certificate in the relevant field in order to engage in relevant professions.

The Vocational Requirements are also covered by the Turkish Qualifications Framework (TQF). The TQF classifies all qualifications whose quality assurance is ensured under eight levels and groups them according to their types. For example the Level 5 covers “Undergraduate Diploma” and “Level 5 Vocational Qualification Certificate” and Level 4 covers “Vocational and Technical Training High School Diploma” and “Mastership Certificate”.

The design of the TQF which ensures that qualifications relating to vocational aspects such as mastership and semiskilled certificates obtained by attending apprenticeship and semiskilled programs in addition to formal education are the same level with academic and general education qualifications aims to encourage young people in terms of having vocational qualifications by respecting vocational qualifications.

Active Labor Market Programs are organised all around Turkey through the vocational education courses and on-the-job training programs with the aim of finding solution for the unemployment problem and enabling job seeking people to acquire relevant vocational qualities and skills.

436.515 young people acquired a profession with the vocational education courses between 2012 and July, 2020. 44.447 young people attended to the vocational education courses in 2019. Furthermore, 16.504 young people attended to the vocational education courses in January-July period of 2020. %55,1 of the young people who attended to the vocational education courses since 2012 are women.

Turkish Employment Agency organises On-the-job Training Programs (İEP) in order to facilitate the entrance of youth in labor market and to make up for their job experience deficiencies.

Turkish Employment Agency structures on-the-job training programs in accordance with up to date conditions and by considering the demands of employers. Turkish Employment Agency raised the duration of on-the-job training courses in information and construction sectors from 3 to 6 months in 2018.  Raise of qualified labor force in information and construction sectors with this regulation is supported.

In addition, allowance for the citizens attending the on-the-job training programs has been raised from 77,7 TL to 89,4 TL in 2020. General health insurance and the insurance of occupational accidents and professional diseases premium keeps to be covered.

891.737 young people were enabled to gain experience with the on-the-job training program between 2012 and July, 2020. In 2019, 202.892 young people benefitted from on-the-job training program, which is the highest number since 2012. Furthermore, 87.215 young people benefitted from the program in January-July period of 2020. %47.4 of the young people who attended to the on-the-job training programs since 2012 are women.

Duration of the training for young people, between the ages of 18-29, attending the on-the-job training programs organized in the fields, which are considered as present and future jobs such as cyber-security, cloud computing, game developing expert and coding, reaches to 9 months and we are granting 100 TL allowance to the young people attending these programs.

Turkish Employment Agency works toward enhancing public-private sector cooperation with Vocational Education and Skill Development Cooperation Protocol (MEGİP). The Agency organises vocational skill training, including the mixture of thoretical and practical training, through biennial Vocational Education and Skill Development Cooperation Protocol (MEGİP) with the cooperation of public-private sector in order to train qualified labor force which is demanded by the labor market. The Agency grants 89,4 TL allowance to the people attending to the vocational training courses, duration of which may reach to 8 months. 47.932 people benefitted from the courses, opened within the scope of MEGİP, by the end of July, 2020.

Turkish Employment Agency facilitates the transition from education to business life. The Agency provides 210,4 to 420,79 TL financial support for apprentices, apprentice candidates and also for the students receiving vocational training and continuing their internship program or supplementary training; and by that we are strengthening the relation between education and business life.

Furthermore,  736,39 TL financial support to the science and engineering students is granted during a semester of their last education year while they are receiving practical training in private sector enterprises, technoparks, RE&DE centers or industrial enterprises in order to accelerate their transition to business life.

Turkish Employment Agency conducted the project entitled "first step to work" Thereby it has enabled young people, aged 18-29, graduated from colloege or faculties to gain experience and to be employed faster through the project. Project runs like that. Employers have to employ a number of participants throughout the project after the on-the-job training within the scope of the project, which ended by the end of July, 2019.Within the scope of the project, these employed people receive an amount correspoding to %50 of the net minimum wage during mandatory employment period and they receive an amount corresponding to %25 of the net minimum wage for twelve months provided that the employer guarantees that they will continue to be employed for a period twelve of months. 21.663 young people benefitted from the first step to work project by the end of July, 2019.


Recognition of learning outcomes

The Vocational Qualifications Institution is concentrated on activities relating to recognition of former learnings and validation of common and free learnings. The VQI ensures recognition and certification of learning acquisitions determined in the national qualifications through authorization of professional organizations, employee-employer unions, units of universities engaged in certification of personnel, independent personnel Certification Bodies.

The Certification Bodies Authorized by the VQI measures and assesses individuals wishing to obtain a VQI Vocational Qualifications Certificate in relevant UYs and provides successful person with such certificate.

The Authorized Certification Bodies provides individuals with the opportunity of certification of their vocational knowledge, skills and qualifications obtained in any manner and regardless of their educational background and job experience. Learning acquirements of those whose applicants are found to be appropriate among the individuals making an application for certification are measured and assessed according to the criteria defined in relevant UYs and the VQI Vocational Qualification Certificate is issued for those successful. The VQI Vocational Qualification Certificates are the documents which are recognized and relied on by national and international labour markets.         

Thus, individuals find the opportunity to save the units in which they are successful. In addition, Europass Certificate Supplements which define the learning acquisitions covered by the VQI Vocational Qualification Certificates hold by individuals are developed and published in website of the VQI.



In accordance with the Law on Vocational Training the Ministry of National Education is obliged to pay premiums for semiskilled workers, those receiving vocational training in enterprises, students subject to apprenticeship when studying at vocational or technical secondary school and students receiving complementary training or field training. For scholarships engaged in projects supported by public institutions and establishments, the public institutions and establishments within which the project is conducted are liable to pay premiums.  For students subject to apprenticeship during higher education or those receiving vocational trainings in enterprises, the higher education institution at which such students are studying is liable to pay premiums.

            Since premiums of apprentices are paid by the Ministry of National Education or the institutions at which they are trained there is not any premium load on employers and there is not any other direct exemption or deduction for apprentices. However, there are various incentive practices for İŞ-KUR trainees. Portion of the wages paid to apprentices which does not exceed the minimum wage is exempt from income tax and stamp tax withholding.

Trainees attending employment, vocational development and change organized by the Turkish Employment Agency shall be deemed to be insured and provisions of occupational accident and occupational disease insurance shall apply.

SGK employer premium of those already completed the on-the-job training provided by İŞKUR, older than 18 years and younger than 29 years and recruited within three months after the program are met by the Unemployment Insurance Fund for 42 months if the employer is engaged in manufacturing industry and for 30 months if the employer is engaged in any other industry.

The certificate cost relating to professions which are subject to a certificate in accordance with the Law on Vocational Qualifications Institution No 5544 and the exam fee (if does not exceed the amount specified by the Council of Ministers) are paid by the Unemployment Insurance Fund according to the principles set forth in the Law on Unemployment Insurance.


Quality assurance

Aim of the Vocational and Technical Training Strategy Document and Action Plan aims at promoting workplace-based learning including quality traineeship, apprenticeship and dual training models in order to facilitate transformation from educational career to working life for ensuring quality sustainability relating to traineeship and apprenticeship. In order for an enterprise to accept a student it should meet at least 80 % of the educational program, employ at least one master educator or trainer personnel in relevant field and the workplace standards should comply with the legal regulations. In various projects covered by lifelong learning activities executed and developed by the Ministry of National Education, the Council of Higher Education and VQI “ensuring that social partners involve in decision-making mechanisms, development of learning outcomes at various levels by the help of industry, determination of module-credit values of formal and non-formal educational programs, crediting of activities such as traineeship and on-the-job training, counselling and guidance, information systems, recognition, assessment and validity of former learnings, certification and quality assurance” are the prioritized items.

The total quality management approach has been adopted for provision of all services including apprenticeship and semiskilled trainings specified in the Regulation on Vocational and Technical Training. Establishment and functioning of the quality improvement team are regulated by provisions of “the Implementing Directive of the Ministry of National Education on Total Quality Management”.