Republic of Turkey Ministry of National Education and UNHCR recently launch a new EU-funded project to help increase refugees’ access to language learning and vocational training

Ankara – Republic of Turkey Ministry of National Education and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, have recently launched a new project that will help increase Syrian and other refugees’ access to Turkish language learning and vocational training courses, with the participation of Deputy Minister of National Education Mr. Reha Denemeç, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the EU to Turkey Mr. Gabriel Munuera Vinals, Ministry of National Education General Director of Lifelong Learning Mr. Mehmet Nezir Gül, and UNHCR Deputy Representative in Turkey Mr. Jean-Marie Garelli.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. Denemeç, Deputy Minister of National Education, said: “With education, we can provide a vision for the future and enable all people who seek refuge in our country to become, by the skills they will acquire through holding on to these visions, individuals that are beneficial not only to the society they are living in but also to the world.”

Mr. Munuera Vinals, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the EU to Turkey, underlined that the EU will continue to work in complementarity with the many actors in the refugee response effort. “Turkey is the pride of the international community and has shown commendable generosity by not only mobilizing resources but also through the inclusive regulations put in place,” Mr. Munuera Vinals said. He added: “While language remains the main barrier, the need for increasing skills based on the labour market to increase self-reliance also has core value.”

The 30-month project will strengthen the institutional capacity of eight public education centres to make available more Turkish language learning courses and vocational trainings. The trainings that will be delivered within the project will help refugees and host community members develop vocational skills in fields of employment that include shoemaking, textiles production, cooking, services and hospitality, and computer-based manufacturing. The project aims to reach 8000 beneficiaries, and has a budget of 10 million Euros.

In his speech, UNHCR Turkey Deputy Representative Mr. Jean-Marie Garelli said: “This project will provide refugees in Turkey with one of the most important skills needed to build a more sustainable life – the ability to speak Turkish. Acquiring the language will also lead to more opportunities for daily interaction and for work.” Mr. Garelli also underlined the significance of Turkey’s efforts to enable refugee children and adults to benefit from public education services, and added: “It is imperative that we broaden our search for solutions, enabling refugees to lead productive and meaningful lives as full members of their communities.”

Funded by the European Union (EU), the “Increasing access to Turkish language training and vocational training for Syrians under temporary protection in Turkey” project will be implemented at eight public education centres in Ankara, Bursa, Kayseri and Konya.