At job fairs in Turkey, Syrian refugees capitalize on FAO-led training

FAO-vocationalKasim Ibrahim, a Syrian refugee living in Turkey, sees hope for a better future after taking part in an FAO-led vocational training programme this autumn.

He and almost 200 other participants in this programme have had a chance to meet with potential employers in the agricultural sector at a series of job fairs. The “Enhancing Agricultural Knowledge of Syrian Refugees and Host Communities to Expand Livelihood Opportunities” project, co-funded by European Union and Turkish Government, was developed to help Syrian refugees and their host communities expand livelihood opportunities through enhanced agricultural knowledge.

It is the second year in row that FAO has worked to increase the employment opportunities of Syrian refugees and people from their host communities within the agriculture sector in Turkey. FAO works in close collaboration with Turkey’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the provincial directorates with high numbers of refugees who fled from the eight-year-old conflict in the Syria across the border – namely, Izmir, Mersin, Adana, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa and Mardin.

In total, 865 people participated in the programme and received certificates for completion this year. The programme targets 70 percent Syrian refuges and 30 percent Turkish citizens from the host communities, with an overall participation of women of at least 30 percent.

The number of private companies participating at each job fair varied from 12 to 30, with around 70 to 170 trainees in attendance. Many of the trainings either become registered with the Turkish Employment Agency İŞKUR during the job fair, which entitles them to labour force services, or find a job at one of many agricultural companies.

FAO will initiate the third phase of the project and expand our reach to four new provinces.