Supporting Employment and Skills Development in Food and Agriculture Sectors for Syrian Under Temporary Protection and Host Community


Under the project “Increase Self-Reliance and Improve Agricultural Livelihoods of Refugees through Employment Opportunities (Phase III)’’, vocational and labour market skills training are implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Turkey, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The project was co-financed by the European Union and Turkey and implemented in a partnership with UNHCR. The project aims to contribute to the livelihoods of 815 Syrian under temporary protection and Turkish citizens through improving employability and enhancing decent work opportunities in Adana, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Kilis, Bursa, Izmir, Manisa, and Mersin.

The training includes provision of theoretical and on the job training on food and agriculture topics, as well as some crucial complementary topics such as Turkish language, labour legislation, employment services, and life skills. In this respect, on the job training is considered a win-win model where trainees learn while they earn, and employers ensure that skills are relevant and can recruit the best trainees, as well as through this component, FAO is working to foster dialogue among governments, workers and employers to improve the quality, legal framework, partnership and employment outcomes of training at the local level.

The recent monitoring mission took place from 29-31 July in three provinces Adana, Kilis and Sanlıurfa, with an objective  to identify challenges, lessons learned and best practices in implementing on the job training in food and agriculture sector in Turkey.

As a result of this mission, the trainees in visited provinces are developing their skills during the job training after theoretical training and several private sectors are keen to hire those skilled beneficiaries. This opens a new opportunity particularly for the Syrian under temporary protection and helps them become qualified and proficient in doing wide range of jobs in food and agriculture sector.

The Provincial Directors of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in those provinces stressed FAO contribution to the development of food and agriculture sector in this region and expressed their willingness to strengthen the collaboration with FAO in order to support Syrian under temporary protection and host communities in generating employment and contributing to inclusive sustainable economic growth.

‘’I’ve learned the techniques of fruit seedling and got the chance to develop my skills. I feel more confident and self-reliant, as well as I can financially support my family “ Hatun Hanım, a 20-year-old trainee said.

Fidda Sayid, another Syrian woman said “I’ve learned a lot from the training and I am happy to have friends from host community, I hope I can utilize these skills at my land in Syria one day.”

Sheikh Ahaduzzaman, FAO Programme Officer, stressed that training could be supported with entrepreneurship programmes for the continuation of employment opportunities as well as sustainable income for the project beneficiaries. FAO will continue support to ensure the self-reliance of Syrian refugees and host community members.