The Vocational Education Centers Cooperation Protocol was signed with the participation of Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer and the President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu. Speaking at the signing ceremony of the protocol for the matching of the businesses that are members of the chamber and the stock exchange and vocational education centers, Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer said that the 81 Vocational and Technical Anatolian High Schools project in 81 provinces, which was the first move in the revival of vocational education, was also implemented with TOBB, and that this partnership has continued with different expansions so far. Said it was continuing.
Explaining that efforts are being made to attract academically successful students to vocational education all over the world, Özer stated that successful students move away from vocational education with a wrong practice such as the coefficient application in Turkey. Minister Özer reminded that after the coefficient application, vocational high schools have become a type of school where students who cannot get into any high school attend and have a low expectation of success, and noted that the differences in success between schools have deepened.
Expressing that the Ministry of National Education made efforts to strengthen vocational education after the coefficient application was abolished in 2012, Özer stated that they came together with the TOBB President and TOBB members and implemented a new model. Stating that the labor market had built laboratories and workshops for schools before, and then moved away from the education process, Özer said: “We said together with our President, since we, as the Ministry of National Education, are training personnel for the labor market. Let's manage the process together. We have the financial burden… Let's update the curriculum together. Let's plan the skills training of students in business together. Let's plan the on-the-job and professional development trainings of teachers' field and workshop teachers, which are very critical for the quality of vocational education. But let's do two things. Let's put the supply-demand balance on a rational basis and give priority to employment. This step we have taken has suddenly been favored by you, our esteemed sector representatives. In a very short time, we saw that academically successful students favor vocational high schools. Vocational high schools have now started to accept students from the 1 percent success rate.”
Explaining that the production capacity in vocational education was increased after these developments, Özer said, “We need to clarify this a little more, especially in your presence. The main thing in vocational education is education by producing by doing. In order for the student to learn, he has to put his hand on the production line in a real business environment. He must be actively involved in all processes. The Ministry of National Education does not make such a claim: 'Let's put education aside. Let's produce, let's compete with the market.' We don't have such a problem. Our concern is to build the production capacity as a link in that chain in a way that will strengthen the education-production-employment cycle.” said.
Minister Mahmut Özer stated that with the capacity increase, the relations of students with education in 3 vocational technical Anatolian high schools in Turkey began to strengthen, and said, “For years, in vocational high schools where disadvantaged students have been clustered, students have started to receive a share equal to their contribution to production. Vocational high school students received a share from the production in 574.” used his statements.
Stating that increasing the production capacity in vocational education contributed to the production of products such as masks, mask machines and respirators during extraordinary processes such as the Kovid-19 epidemic, Özer shared information about vocational training centers.
Özer said: “There are habits from the past. You know, in vocational education centers, one day a week goes to school. A dual vocational training model with four days of business skills training. We have seen that production is made in some vocational training centers. In fact, production cannot be done in vocational training centers. Because the student goes to school one day a week. He is taking certain basic courses. There is no production mechanism. Therefore, as of this year, we are resetting the production capacity in vocational training centers. They are there because it is not a place of manufacture.”
Mentioning that intellectual property and industrial rights are the most critical points in the development of countries and in increasing their competitiveness, Özer said that this is the first time that R&D centers were established in vocational high schools. Explaining that they opened 50 R&D centers with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the number has reached 55 at the moment, Özer continued: “The number of products registered by students and teachers in schools affiliated to the Ministry of National Education in the last ten years is 29, friends. Schools affiliated to the Ministry of National Education that have an annual registration of 2.9. We immediately associated this production capacity in vocational training with intellectual property. We organized trainings. All of a sudden, the number of applications in vocational high schools started to increase and we shared this capacity in vocational high schools with science and art centers, science high schools, other high schools, other schools, public education centers and maturation institutes. In 2022, we aimed to register 7 products as a target. As of today, we have received 500 thousand 7 registrations. Look, 700… 2.9. thousand 7… As this culture becomes widespread in all schools, not only will the quality of education increase, but the country will take firm steps towards being competitive with the world by increasing its competitiveness with young people who have a much more entrepreneurial spirit.”
At the same time, Minister Mahmut Özer stated that work is being carried out for the commercialization of these registered products, and explained that 2022 products were commercialized in 74. Announcing that vocational high schools have now started to export to the world, Özer said, “After this, paper towel production was carried out in the school we carried out within the scope of cooperation with the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, and export was made to Portugal and we sent the first truck there, but not only paper towels were produced. The production of the machine that produces the paper towel was also made. This is really a very valuable thing… We have taken this one step further and let's not only produce the qualified personnel resource that Turkey needs and the labor market needs. At the same time, we opened seven international vocational technical Anatolian High Schools by taking a step to set an example in vocational education for the people in our heartland and the Balkans, to train them and send them back.” said.
Stating that if the sources of the problems are correctly diagnosed and steps are taken, Özer said that successes emerge in a short time and that vocational high schools are now the hope of the country.
“The number of apprentices and journeymen reached 600 thousand 888”
Stating that vocational education centers have been offered the opportunity to have high school diplomas and that an attractive mechanism has been created for both employers and students with the amendment made in the Vocational Education Law No. 25 on 2021 December 3308, Özer said, “We cannot keep up with the numbers. The number of apprentices and journeymen in this country, which was 25 thousand on 2021 December 159, has reached 600 thousand 888 as of today.” said.
Noting that the goal by the end of the year is to bring 1 million young people together with vocational training centers, Özer said that just as good stories were written in vocational high schools, the same successes would be achieved in vocational training centers. Calling the TOBB members to increase this number together, Minister Özer said: “We give two months to our students who enroll in the vocational training center. So that they can find a business… Most of the time, our young people have trouble finding businesses in many places. Now, with this cooperation protocol, you, our esteemed members, under the auspices of our President, the heads of chambers and exchanges, will be directly involved in the processes, and our students who are registered in vocational training centers will be directly matched with businesses.
Stating that in this way, not only the human resources needed by the country will be trained, but also one of the critical indicators of the OECD, “the number of young people who are neither in education nor in employment, that is, youth unemployment”, Özer thanked those who contributed to the protocol and wished that the signatures would be beneficial.
Hisarcıklıoğlu: “I invite our employers to accept students from vocational training centers”
TOBB President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the private sector should benefit more from vocational training centers and said, “In this context, I invite our youth to enroll in vocational training centers and our employers to accept students from vocational training centers.” said.
In his speech at the ceremony, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that they believe education is the primary issue of the country.
Referring to what TOBB has done in the field of education, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “As the private sector, we were complaining that we could not find qualified employees and that vocational training did not meet the needs. We wanted to increase the public-private sector cooperation in vocational education and to strengthen the role of the private sector. We wanted vocational training to be the most important means of meeting the human resources of the private sector. This is an issue that has been on our agenda for twenty years. We have received both great support and important actions from our Minister, Mr. Mahmut Özer.” he said.
Hisarcıklıoğlu pointed out that vocational education has once again become a center of attraction in the education world and said that the occupancy rate in vocational high schools across Turkey is 2022 percent in 95 LGS.
After the speeches, the protocol was signed by Özer and Hisarcıklıoğlu.
The cooperation protocol envisages the matching of vocational education centers with the chambers and exchanges affiliated to TOBB, increasing the number of students in these centers, and enrolling more students from these centers by the chamber-exchange member companies.