Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank and National Education Minister Mahmut Özer signed the "Vocational and Technical Education Cooperation Protocol" between the two ministries.
With the protocol, rapid transformations in the industrial sector will be identified on site and their adaptation to education will be ensured.
Noting that qualified human resources are indispensable for a strong industry, Minister Varank said:
Organized Industrial Zones, which are the production bases of our country, provide great convenience to industrialists in terms of investment. The infrastructures needed by the industrialists are met in the healthiest way through these regions. OIZs not only meet the needs of industrialists, but also provide a serious efficiency and competitive advantage with the clustering approach they create.
As the Ministry, we provide very serious support to these regions, which are the heart of production, from free land allocation to low-interest long-term loans. As of today, the number of OIZs in our country has increased to 327. Thankfully, there is no province left without an OIZ. The occupancy rate of the OIZs, which completed the infrastructure construction and started production, reached 83 percent.
OIZs also host a large amount of employment. We foresee that the employment in OIZs, which is a direct source of bread for our 2.2 million citizens, will reach 2023 million by the end of 2.5. In this context, it is of great importance for our country to train the competent human resources needed by the industrialists.
With the digital transformation, the required workforce competencies are also changing rapidly. Studies show that 30 percent of existing jobs will either disappear or undergo major changes in the next 15 years. This is why today's workforce competencies have to be dynamic.
We offer support through KOSGEB and TUBITAK to prepare our human resources for digital transformation. We provide support through our Development Agencies to ensure the dynamism of the women and youth workforce. We are preparing our children for the technology fields of the future with Experiap Technology Workshops and TEKNOFEST.
We are also aware that the main tool that feeds the workforce is our educational institutions. It is important that educational institutions are designed to be easily adaptable to innovations and in constant interaction with the industry. In order to achieve this, we keep the consultation mechanisms open between us and the Ministry of National Education. Thanks to this dialogue, we are making important steps towards cooperation in education and industry.
We have an ongoing practice of opening Technical High Schools in OIZs. Again, we signed the Vocational Education Cooperation Protocol between our Ministry, the Ministry of National Education, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul Chamber of Industry and Istanbul Chamber of Commerce. Here, too, we paved the way for designing the areas where education is given in vocational high schools together with the sector. In this context, studies are continuing for the students of vocational and technical Anatolian high schools in Istanbul.
We are here to start a new project with the Ministry of National Education. With this signature, we will identify the rapid transformations in the industrial sector on the spot and ensure their rapid adaptation to education. In coordination, we will meet the qualified workforce needs of the industrial sector and develop employment with serious incentives.
Vocational Education Centers were restructured as Vocational and Technical Secondary Education Institutions. Thus, the importance of Vocational Training Centers in terms of employment has increased one more fold. By positioning these Vocational Training Centers within OIZs, we will ensure closer coordination between education and industry.
77 organized industrial zones in 251 provinces and 4 industrial sites in 4 provinces will be matched with at least one vocational and technical Anatolian high school or vocational training center. In this way, the Vocational Training Center Program applications in OIZs will be expanded. Participation in education, training and certification activities will be increased.
Participants will learn a profession by receiving on-the-job training mainly in the field of production. Curriculum and training materials will be constantly updated. In summary, we will have a more dynamic education curriculum, more dynamic education materials and a more dynamic human resource that learns by working personally.
We see innovation and continuous change as the codes of the coming period. In this context, no field accepts uniformity, from products to production processes, from human resource competencies to the entrepreneurship ecosystem. In order to survive, we have to be open to continuous improvement in every subject. In this changing environment, we will always continue to focus on the human resource that feeds the industry and technology.
Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer stated that there are 160 thousand students in vocational education centers at the moment and said, “We will include 25 thousand more students with the protocol. When I say our students, I'm not just talking about secondary school age. Another beauty of the Vocational Education Centers is that it is enough to be a secondary school graduate, there is no age limit. One of the best instruments to reduce youth unemployment in Turkey is the Vocational Training Center.” he said.
Saying, “The business pays at least one-third of the fees to the students who attend the Vocational Education Center,” Özer said, “Now the state will undertake all of this. The employer will no longer have any obligations regarding 3/1 of this minimum wage. In addition, Vocational Education Center students who become journeymen at the end of the third year will receive half of the minimum wage. I hope there will be an incredible revolution in Vocational Training Centers when this amendment is made in the Law No. 3 in the Parliament.” used the phrases.
After the speeches, the Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank and the Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer were presented with plaques regarding the planting of 250 commemorative saplings on behalf of Istanbul Tuzla OIZ.
Ministers Varank and Özer visited the İTOSB Vocational and Technical Anatolian High School Metal Technologies Workshops in the OIZ and welded together with the students.
Finally, the two Ministers opened the ITOSB Vocational Education Center liaison office.