The Turkish Employment Organization (İŞKUR) program, otherwise known as “on-the-job training,” envisaged having the government pay the salaries of unemployed individuals while they get this training in firms, for a period of six months.
The Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) said last week unemployment was down 1.2 percent in May over the same month of the preceding year, to 8.2 percent. This was the lowest level observed since the third quarter of 2001, when jobless rate stood at 7.8 percent. A critical gauge for the economy, youth unemployment also declined by 1.6 percent in May over the fifth month of 2011 to 15.9 percent.
İŞKUR Manager Nusret Yazıcı said on Friday that the organization will cover the salaries along with health insurance expenses of one worker for each firm that employs at least two workers registered with the Social Security Institution (SGK). The firms must offer on-the-job training programs. The new regulation sees unemployed trainees, who have completed their training in İŞKUR's vocational education programs, sent to on-the-job training at various firms. İŞKUR then guarantees that the interns receive net salaries of TL 740 per month from the government for the following six months.
Prior to this latest program, İŞKUR ran vocational training programs regularly; however, it did not pay any salaries for its participants. Observers said the new regulation would boost the number of applications for the courses. The program offers trainees and employers the option of continuing to work together at the end of the six months. If not, these people will have gained enough experience to seek jobs in other, similar workplaces for a regular income, Yazıcı explains. He adds the program will also help employers who are not able to find a skilled workforce to cope with the problem.
According to İŞKUR, applicants must at minimum be high school graduates, and workplaces must have at least five employees to take part in on-the-job training programs. In the course of the six months, the trainees must work a minimum of five hours and a maximum of eight hours per day, with a total of 45 hours per week. In addition, the workers are free to work in an occupation tailored to their personal talents, and employers cannot force them to work in fields they have not applied for.