Strategic Cooperation Protocol between ILO and ISKUR

ILO and ISKUR signed a protocol to facilitate the access of Syrians under temporary protection, seekers and holders of international protection status to labour markets and means of subsistence in the framework of decent work principles.


ANKARA – The International Labour Organization (ILO) and Turkish Employment Agency (ISKUR) signed a protocol to facilitate the access of Syrians under temporary protection, seekers and holders of international protection status to labour markets and means of subsistence in the framework of decent work principles.

Signed by Mr. Numan Özcan, Director of the ILO Office for Turkey, and Mr. Cafer Uzunkaya, General Director of ISKUR, the protocol will be valid for two years.

Speaking at the ceremony held at the ILO Ankara Office, Mr. Özcan said “Our recent cooperation continues particularly on youth and women employment and international level. An area of cooperation has recently emerged on the employment of Syrians under temporary protection. The protocol we are signing today aims to advance such cooperation to higher levels. We are already cooperating in all activities, but now we are setting a framework for the purpose. I wish it will be auspicious.” Mr. Özcan added that “We will cooperate on facilitating social cohesion of both seekers and holders of international protection status and Syrians under temporary protection, enabling them to access labour markets appropriately, and have registered employment.”

ISKUR General Director Mr. Uzunkaya emphasised that “Our work with ILO is deeply meaningful. I do hope this protocol will set an example for other countries in terms of joint work of ILO and employment agencies. This is bound to create a nice model. I wish this protocol will be exemplary for the will of joint work.” Mr. Uzunkaya referred to Syrian refugees that “It is important that we build a structure that will enable them to access decent work and prevent informal and illegal working.”

Under the protocol, initiatives will be rolled out to support, in the context of Turkish labour market needs, the social integration of seekers and holders of international protection status and Syrians under temporary protection, prevention of informal employment, strengthening of their resilience, and facilitation of their access to labour markets and means of subsistence in the framework of decent work principles. Work will be undertaken to alleviate the adverse impact of irregular migration on Turkish labour markets, and support national policies, strategies and institutional and technical capacities to protect the balance, labour peace, social peace and rights of the Turkish labour force in work life. Support will be provided for seekers and holders of international protection status, Syrians under temporary protection and Turkish citizens as host communities to public employment services; active labour market programmes will be designed to enhance their employability; and ISKUR’s institutional capacity will be strengthened at national and local level.

Vocational training courses, entrepreneurship and on-the-job training programmes will be implemented under the active labour market programmes provided by ISKUR. Through similar active labour market programmes designed on the basis of the foregoing, supportive programmes on work skills, professional Turkish, social integration and similar programmes will be activated to improve the employability of seekers and holders of international protection status, Syrians under temporary protection and Turkish citizens as host communities.

Training and seminars will also be delivered under the protocol to ISKUR employees at the central and provincial units on work life, labour market, social policies, employment of disadvantaged groups, ILO conventions, international labour migration, refugee law, foreigners and international protection legislation and similar issues.

Work will be undertaken in Ankara, Istanbul, Bursa, Konya, Adana, Mersin, Hatay, Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa as well as other provinces jointly designated by the parties.