Frequently Asked Questions about the VET4JOB

The Vocational Training Programme for Employment (VET4JOB) is a four-year programme supported by the European Union Facility for Refugees in Turkey. It is coordinated by Expertise France and EDUSER in cooperation with the Ministry of National Education and the Confederation of Turkish Tradesmen and Craftsmen.

VET4JOB is currently providing services to Syrian and Turkish children and young people between the ages of 14 and 17 with apprenticeship training. Vocational education and training activities for Syrian and Turkish adults between the ages of 18 and 45 who are unable to access formal employment due to insufficient vocational qualifications will begin shortly. VET4JOB also carries out activities to improve enterprises which train or may train apprentice students. Detailed information on VET4JOB target groups can be accessed via http://imep.org/EN/index.php/hedefgruplarimiz/.

Detailed information on VET4JOB services can be accessed via http://imep.org/EN/index.php/hakkimizda/ and http://imep.org/EN/index.php/neleryapiyoruz/. The programme’s promotional video can be accessed via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah7wEZGNe8Q&t=35s.

VET4JOB is active in Adana, Ankara, Bursa, Gaziantep, Hatay, Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaraş, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya and Mersin.

The list of partner institutions of VET4JOB can be accessed via http://imep.org/EN/index.php/programortagi/ .

The provinces, institutions and professional fields to be included in VET4JOB were determined in light of a comprehensive research. The research was done in two stages. First, a desk review was conducted and quantitative data from the potential provinces were analysed. In the second stage of the research, a labour market analysis was carried out to analyse both quantitative and qualitative data. As a result of these studies, it was decided to carry out VET4JOB apprenticeship training in 33 vocational training institutions serving a total of 31 districts in 12 provinces. A Turkish summary of the VET4JOB scope research in Turkish can be accessed via http://imep.org/index.php/yayinlarimiz/. The English version of the summary can be accessed via http://imep.org/EN/index.php/yayinlarimiz/ .

The VET4JOB team carried out a comprehensive research study to analyse the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on apprenticeship training. The study involved 1,187 people representing all the various components of apprenticeship training. The research summary in Turkish, which discusses the period of the pandemic between 15 March and 01 June 2020, can be accessed via http://imep.org/index.php/yayinlarimiz/. The English version of the summary can be accessed via http://imep.org/EN/index.php/yayinlarimiz/ .

Registrations for apprenticeship training are not carried out by VET4JOB. Applications and registrations for apprenticeship training are accepted by vocational training centres. VET4JOB undertakes a range of activities that support the capacities of 33 vocational training institutions in 12 provinces to provide services for apprenticeship training. The list of partner institutions supported by VET4JOB can be accessed via http://imep.org/EN/index.php/programortagi/ .

All VET4JOB activities are free-of-charge. No attention should therefore be paid to persons who introduce themselves as VET4JOB officials and demand money as an application fee for VET4JOB services.

The wage the apprentice students receive during their apprenticeship training is not added to the family income. Consequently, the fact that an apprentice student is employed with social security cover and generates an income does not result in any interruption in the supports provided for the family, including Social Solidarity and Assistance support, the Green Card (Yeşilkart) and the Emergency Social Safety Net (Kızılaykart). For other VET4JOB beneficiaries, the services are under no income-generating category, so no situation arises that would require the right to benefit from such supports to be interrupted.

A certain level of Turkish skills must be acquired to benefit from apprenticeship training component of the VET4JOB. Any of the below may register for apprenticeship training with condition that a contract with an enterprise in a professional field falling within the scope of Law No. 3308 on Vocational Training is signed:

  • Persons who have graduated from middle school or imam hatip middle school (*),
  • Persons who have graduated from a high school or school of equivalent level or who have left such a school in an intermediate year,
  • Persons who have graduated from an institution of higher education or who have left such an institution in an intermediate year,

(*) The procedure to certify that Syrians under temporary protection are middle school graduates is as follows:

  • For those able to document that they are at least middle school graduates, it is to be certified that they have passed the Literacy Stage I Level Test and that they have registered for an A1 Level Turkish language course.
  • For those unable to document that they are at least middle school graduates, it is to be certified that they have registered for an A2 Level Turkish language course.

VET4JOB’s efforts to enable those who wish to become beneficiaries of adult training component of VET4JOB to acquire Turkish language skills are ongoing. Details will be disclosed once these efforts are finalised.

Frequently Asked Questions About Apprenticeship Training

Apprenticeship training is one form of formal vocational training. In this option, the students receive their theoretical training in the relevant profession at school and their practical training in enterprises under the supervision of experienced master trainers. Students who graduate from apprenticeship training thereby complete their 12 years of compulsory education.

Apprenticeship training is provided in vocational training centres (VTCs) and in vocational and technical high schools with VTC programmes.

Contact details of institutions offering apprenticeship training can be found at the following address: https://meslegimhayatim.meb.gov.tr/egitim/orgun-ogretim-kurumlari. First select the province and district, and then choose “Vocational Training Centre (MEM)” from the types of institution menu.

For students who graduate from lower secondary school (middle school) and begin their apprenticeship training from grade 9, the training extends over a period of four years, consisting of three years of journeymanship training and one year of mastership training.

The theoretical training consists of face-to-face training provided in the vocational training centre for at least one day per week (*). The practical training is the applied training given in the workplace on the other days of the week under the supervision of a master trainer. The workplace training is monitored and controlled by coordinator teachers assigned by the vocational training centre.

(*) The supplementary subjects taken by apprentice students participating in the “make-up” diploma programme may be taken in the evenings and/or at weekends through face-to-face training in the context of the full-day full-year training scheme.

Any of the following may register for apprenticeship training provided that they sign a contract with an enterprise in a field of a profession falling within the scope of Law No. 3308 on Vocational Training:

  • persons who have completed a lower secondary school (middle school) education or an imam hatip lower secondary school (middle school) education (*),
  • persons who have graduated from a high school or school of equivalent level or who have left such a school in an intermediate year,
  • persons who have graduated from an institution of higher education or who have left such an institution in an intermediate year.

Persons who have left high schools or institutions providing higher levels of education may apply to vocational training centres based on their previous level of education and commence their apprenticeship training from an intermediary grade appropriate to their circumstances. There is no upper age limit for apprenticeship training.

Students registered [for distance learning] in ‘open’ high schools or ‘open’ institutions of higher education may also continue their education as apprentice students in vocational training centres.

(*) The procedure for certifying that Syrians under Temporary Protection are lower secondary school (middle school) graduates is as follows:

  • For those able to document that they are at least lower secondary school (middle school) graduates, it is to be certified that they have passed the Literacy Stage I Level Test or that they have registered for a Turkish language course at level A1.
  • For those unable to document that they are at least lower secondary school (middle school) graduates, it is to be certified that they have registered for a Turkish language course at level A2.

Transfers can be made to vocational training centres from all kinds of high schools or schools of equivalent level. Students wishing to transfer may make their applications in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation on Secondary Education Institutions. Detailed information about transfer procedures can obtained from the management of the school at which the student is currently registered.

When registering with a vocational training centre, exemptions are made for those common subjects which the student has already completed successfully at a high school or a school of equivalent level.

Adults who have only graduated from primary school may not register for apprenticeship training. They can register for apprenticeship training after completing lower secondary school (middle school) through ‘open’ middle school.

  • Students completing their lower secondary school (middle school) or imam hatip lower secondary school (middle school) education may register on the dates indicated in the “secondary education institutions preference and placement calendar” published by the Ministry of National Education before the start of the school year.
  • Those who do not register or are unable to register with a school on the dates set for the central placement system may register for apprenticeship training whenever they wish, in any of the 12 months of the year.
  • Students currently studying in high schools and schools of equivalent level who have applied to the vocational training centre at which they wish to register with a student identification document obtained from the management of their school may have their transfers processed in any of the 12 months of the year.
  • Persons who have graduated from a high school or school of equivalent level or an institution of higher education or who have left such a school or institution in an intermediate year may register in any of the 12 months of the year.
  • Persons who are older than 18 and are not attending an educational institution and who are working in an enterprise may register for apprenticeship training in any of the 12 months of the year.
  • Persons who have signed a contract with an enterprise remain registered with the vocational training centre for the whole of the calendar year. Those who have re-registered by the last working day of December continue to receive training in their current grades. Those who register from the first working day of January onwards are allowed to continue their vocational training in the workplace but are not given year-end points for the year in question. They are considered to have used their right to study for that particular year and their theoretical training starts with the new school year.

The stages of applying for apprenticeship training are explained below:

  • First obtain information from the nearest vocational training centre: https://meslegimhayatim.meb.gov.tr/egitim/orgun-ogretim-kurumlari
  • The determine the profession for which you will be trained in accordance with your interests and skills: https://meslegimhayatim.meb.gov.tr/mesleki-egitim-videolari/
  • Sign a contract with a workplace active in the professional field which you have chosen.
  • After your contract has been signed by the authorised representative of the enterprise, by your parent or guardian and by yourself, submit it to the vocational training centre where you are to be trained.
  • Start to acquire your profession by following the theoretical training in the vocational training centre and doing the practical training in the workplace.
  • Education certificate (*)
  • Photocopy of identity card
  • Contract to be signed with the enterprise (obtainable from the Vocational Training Centre)
  • Photograph

(*) The procedure for certifying that Syrians under Temporary Protection are lower secondary school (middle school) graduates is as follows:

  • For those able to document that they are at least lower secondary school (middle school) graduates, it is to be certified that they have passed the Literacy Stage I Level Test or that they have registered for a Turkish language course at level A1.
  • For those unable to document that they are at least lower secondary school (middle school) graduates, it is to be certified that they have registered for a Turkish language course at level A2.

Apprenticeship training is a form of free-of-charge formal education supported by the state. Those who take part in this training do not have to pay a fee of any kind either to the vocational training centres or to the workplaces.

Depending on the nature of their profession, apprentice students receive at least one day of theoretical general and vocational training per week at the vocational training centre. They spend the other working days of the week in practical training in the enterprises with which they have signed their contracts. In the case of professions of a seasonal nature, the theoretical and practical training may be given jointly in certain months.

The biggest advantage of apprenticeship training is that it provides an opportunity to receive practical training in a workplace. It is therefore obligatory in this form of education for apprentice students t

The contracts which apprentice students sign with enterprises enter into effect upon the approval of the management of the vocational training centre. Changes of enterprise that are in line with the relevant articles of the contract are possible. The contract can only be annulled by mutual consent. If a contract is annulled, the apprentice student has to sign a contract with another enterprise with 15 days, or within 30 days if absolutely necessary. Failure to enter into a contract within this period results in the termination of the student’s school registration.

Under Law No. 3308 on Vocational Training, apprentice students are paid not less than 30% of the minimum wage each month throughout their time as students by the enterprises in which they receive their practical training. The employers make the payments directly to the apprentice students via a bank or in person.

The pay which apprentice students are paid in the context of their apprenticeship training is not added to the family income. Consequently, there is no question of a cut in any support which the family receives such as Social Solidarity and Assistance, Green Card or Emergency Social Safety Net (Red Crescent Card-Kızılaykart) support.

Apprentice students can receive training in whichever of a total of 181 different professional fields listed under 33 branches is most appropriate to their interests and skills. Information about the fields and branches can be found at http://www.megep.meb.gov.tr/?page=ogretmenKilavuzu. Assistance with orientation and guidance in the choice of profession may be sought from vocational training centres.

Videos introducing a significant proportion of the professions for which training is provided through the various technical and vocational education options, including apprenticeship training, can be found at: https://meslegimhayatim.meb.gov.tr/mesleki-egitim-videolari/1 .

A student’s insurance takes effect on the first day of work following the day on which the contract signed with the enterprise in the selected profession and is submitted to the vocational training centre. The insurance procedures are carried out by the school and the insurance premiums are paid by the state. This insurance only protects the apprentice student against professional diseases and accidents at work. The premiums paid do not count as service towards retirement.

Only the apprentice students themselves can benefit from the professional disease and work accident insurance provided for them. Other members of the students’ families cannot benefit from this insurance.

Apprentice students who receive training in vocational training centres receive a journeymanship certificate at the end of grade 11, once they succeed in the journeymanship examinations and have passed in all of their subjects. Journeymen who succeed in the mastership examinations and have not failed in any of their subjects receive a mastership certificate.

Vocational training centre students who have earned the right to a mastership certificate may obtain a vocational high school diploma if they succeed in the supplementary subjects required by the Ministry of National Education by taking part in face-to-face education programmes arranged at vocational training centres or by studying in ‘open’ secondary education institutions

Holders of mastership certificates who are successful in the 40-hour occupational pedagogy course programme designed for them are awarded a master trainer certificate.

In order to be able to obtain a vocational high school diploma, holders of journeymanship or mastership certificates who are at least lower secondary school (middle school) graduates or imam hatip lower secondary school (middle school) graduates, and students currently studying in vocational training centres who are not included in a diploma programme, must take part in a “Vocational Training Centres Weekly Timetable and Diploma Programme”, also known as make-up education. Make-up education consists of the supplementary subjects contained in the said programme. Students who succeed in all of the subjects in the programme earn the right to obtain a vocational high school diploma.

The term ‘master’ refers to a person who has acquired the knowledge skills and working habits required for a profession, who is able to put these into practice in the production of goods and services to the standards acceptable in business life, and who is capable of planning production, resolving the problems that might be encountered in the course of production, expressing his or her thoughts in writing, orally and through drawings, and making practical calculations related to production. A mastership certificate is therefore an important document signifying competence in the professional field in which its holder has been trained.

Holders of a mastership certificate can use it to open their own workplaces or to obtain employment easily as a qualified employee in a workplace.

Master trainers are people who have acquired the competence of a master, who are responsible for the workplace training of candidate apprentices, apprentices, journeymen and students of technical and vocational education schools and institutions, and who are familiar with the techniques of vocational training and able to implement them. Only enterprises that employ master trainers or in which the employer is a master trainer are permitted to offer practical training opportunities to apprentice students.

To obtain a master trainer certificate, a person must have acquired the competence of a master and completed the 40-hour occupational pedagogy course offered outside working hours by the Ministry of National Education through face-to-face education or via distance learning. Master trainer certificates are awarded to those who pass the examination held at the end of the course.