Skip to main content


EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.6 Integration of young people in the labour market

Last update: 11 January 2021
On this page
  1. Youth employment measures
  2. Flexicurity measures focusing on young people
  3. Reconciliation of private and working life for young people
  4. Funding of existing schemes/initiatives
  5. Quality assurance

Youth employment measures

The strategic aims determined under the Strategic Plan of the Directorate General of Turkish Employment Agency which covers the period 2013 to 2017.

  • To diversify employment services in line with needs of the labour market and to have an active role in recruitment.
  • To implement, improve, generalize and increase effectiveness of active labour programs in order to enhance employability of the labour force.
  • To effectively employ passive programs aimed at reduction of socio-economic effects of unemployment.
  • To develop a strong institutional structure which dominates developments and changes in the labour market.

Basic purpose and target of the Tenth Development Plan relating to Employment and Working Life is to develop a labour market in which safe flexibility approach is adopted and occupational health and safety requirements are improved, quality of the labour force is enhanced and effectively use, job opportunities are provided to all segments of the community. In order achieve such target it is stated in the Plan that it will be continued to develop qualified employment opportunities for all segments of the community, in particular women and young people, by taking into account regional, local and sectoral labour dynamics.

In parallel to the Tenth Development Plan following policy measures have been developed in the Mid-Term Plan:

  • Individuals will be instilled with basic and vocational skills suitable to demands of the labour market; policies aimed at reduction of youth unemployment, facilitation of integration of young people in the labour market and ensuring appropriateness for working and family life will be implemented and the active labour policies will be implemented based on the effect analyses made on regional and sectoral basis.
  • Youth employment and entrepreneurship will be supported under the policy to accelerate integration of young people in the labour market and to enhance their skills. Loan support, monetary support in blank and income tax exemption for young people finding a job for the first time, establishing a new business, wishing to run their own business and young farmers will be provided.

Labour Force Development Courses: The labour force development courses are the courses organized in order to ensure that unemployed people not having a profession or having a profession not attractive to the labour market and registered to İŞKUR and unemployed people receiving unemployment insurance allowances will be developed for professions needed by the labour market and employed accordingly. Such courses are concentrated on employment according to needs of the labour market.

Entrepreneurship Trainings: İŞKUR has been providing entrepreneurship trainings since 2009 to unemployed people registered to İŞKUR and those wishing to change their jobs in order to meet qualified personnel need of the labour market, facilitate employment of unemployed people and to assist them in starting a business on the basis of lifelong training understanding.

Under the KOSGEB Entrepreneurship Support Program young entrepreneurs are provided with grants and interest-free loans for their initial attempts. KOSGEB has developed the Entrepreneurship Support Program in order to support entrepreneurship, to generalize entrepreneurship and to enable establishment of successful businesses. Under the program nonrecourse loan equal to 50000 TL and loan equal to 100000 TL, 150000 TL of support loan in total, are provided to entrepreneurs.

On-the-Job Training (Traineeship) Programs: Studies in Turkey relating to active employment policies started with the regulation put into force in 1988 in relation to training of the labour force and the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) directly engaged in the labour market has an important role in this matter. İŞKUR aimed to employ unqualified labour force by instilling them with vocational trainings and skills by means of “employment-guarantee courses”. Fields of courses provided accordingly and qualities of the trainees vary depending on provinces or regions. The active employment policies applied by İŞKUR also cover “job and vocational counselling” and “training seminars in workplaces” in addition to such courses.  The On-the-Job Training Program which is one of the active labour market programs employed by the İŞKUR in order to reduce unemployment is an on-the-job learning program aimed at ensuring that unemployed people registered to the İŞKUR reinforce their professional knowledge at workplaces registered to the İŞKUR through practices and learn business and production processes.

The On-the-Job Training Program provides its attendees with the opportunity to gain vocational experience and skills in their profession or in another field. University students attending the program have the opportunity to fulfil their obligatory traineeships through this program and are able to eliminate the problem of shortness in experience in job finding process by including such experience in their resumes. The attendees are also provided with the opportunity to earn money equal to new minimum wage depending on the term of the program. On the other hand, since scholarship or student loans of university students are not suspended along the term of the program such students are able to receive such payments. In addition, premiums for occupational accident, occupational disease and general health insurance for the attendees are paid by İŞKUR along the term of the program; which allows the attendees to get use of healthcare services. SGK employer premium of those already completed the on-the-job training, 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 Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock will make grants up to 30 thousand Turkish Liras (8 thousand Euros) for the projects aimed at production of vegetable, animal, local agricultural products and medicinal and aromatic plant production to be executed by young rural farmers for the time period from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018 in order to support the projects for agricultural production at rural areas which will contribute to employment of young rural population, development of alternative income resources, enhancement of income level, supporting entrepreneurship of young farmers and ensuring agricultural sustainability.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism applies the GENÇDES program which is aimed to enhance participation to cultural and artistic events and to allow realization of projects in various fields of arts.

Within (2019-2023) the Strategic Plan of Turkish Employment Agency transformation of youth labour force in accordance with the novel qualifications and employment models required by technological and industrial changes has been set down as a priority. In the same document, equipping young people with the necessary skills and competences required by labour market has been laid down as a policy measure.

In the same document, developing of incentives aimed at implementation of active labour force programmes designed for young people is identified as a policy measure.


Flexicurity measures focusing on young people

The flexicurity concept was introduced in the development plans with the phrase “both flexible and secure labour market” since the Seventh Five-Year Development Plan (1996-2000). The Eighth Five-Year Development Plan covering 2001-2005 specifies that it is necessary to ensure secure flexibility understanding needed by the labour market; the Ninth Development Plan (2007-2013) specifies that it is necessary to instil the labour market with more flexibility and security by assessing flexibility together with security; and the Tenth Development Plan covering 2014-2018 specifies that it is necessary to have progress by assessing secure flexible working, seniority indemnity, sub-employers, social dialogue, active and passive labour policies together with social parties in order to enhance effectiveness of the labour market.

In the Tenth Five-Year Development Plan, one of the basic aims is to develop a labour market in which the flexicurity approach is adopted under the title Employment and Working Life.

In the Tenth Development Plan (2014 - 2018) Labour Market Activation Program Action Plan one of the aims is to generalize Flexible working forms.  According to that aim following policies were adopted:

  • Resolution of the seniority indemnity problem in dialogue with social parties by protecting acquired rights
  • Re-arrangement of the sub-employer implementation in dialogue with social parties
  • Bending the conditions for use of the unemployment insurance and extension of its term
  • Limitation of over work exceeding the time period specified in the law
  • Generalization of flexible working means by protecting rights of employees.


Reconciliation of private and working life for young people

The important factors that prevent young people from abandoning the labour market subsequent to marriage and having children are certain legal regulations ensuring a balance between private and working life (parent leave and other care leaves), institutional services (kindergartens, day nurseries, elder, disabled, patient care services) and working conditions of the labour market.

In Turkey workplaces of both public and private sector are equipped with kindergartens although their number is not enough. In addition, Turkey does not have a comprehensive service network in terms of transportation.

Regarding particularly maternity leave in Turkey according to amendments made on the Law on Civil Servants No 657 for working young women:

“Civil servants will be provided with sixteen weeks of maternity leave, eight weeks before the expected date of birth and eight weeks after the birth.

Female civil servants will be provided with breast-feeding leave for three hours per day for the first six months and one and a half hour per week per day within the second six months as of the end of the maternity leave after the birth. Preferences of civil servants shall prevail in terms of the number and hours of the breast-feeding leave.

After the maternity leave female civil servants may work halftime for two months on first childbirth, for four months on second childbirth and for six months on third childbirth without additional breast-feeding leave provided that the child is alive. For multiple births one month shall be added to such time period. If the child is disable when he/she is born or if any disability is identified within twelve months after the birth then such time periods shall be twelve months. Working hours of civil servants shall be determined by the relevant institution.”

Number of young women studying at higher education institutions is rising in recent years. Accordingly, the number of young women in Turkey working at professional jobs is increasing. Participation rate of women in the labour force in Turkey was 30.3 % according to 2014 data. 


Funding of existing schemes/initiatives

Although Turkey has not a budget exclusively allocated to youth employment Turkish Employment Agency is engaged in activities relating to youth employment through the allocation from the general budget and its other incomes for active employment measures. In addition, youth employment and entrepreneurship practices are supported by allocations from the general budget by KOSGEB,the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry of Economy.

For supporting youth employment and entrepreneurship activities, the 2010-2011 Youth Employment Support Operation- I - II was realized under the EU Pre-Accession Assistances (IPA).

Quality assurance

Although there is not any separate mechanism or system for monitoring employment measures and projects applied for young people quality is ensured by means of strategic plans, activity reports and annual programs of relevant establishments.