Balkanalysis on Twitter Briefing with Dr. Oğuz Borat, January 2012

Brussels— During a Friends of Turkey meeting held at the European Parliament on January 24, 2012, contributor Maria-Antoaneta Neag provided a briefing with Dr Oğuz Borat, a Turkish professor and Acting Director and Member of the Management Board of Turkey’s Vocational Qualification Authority (VQA).

Even though in recent years Turkey has demonstrated an ascending trend in terms of economic growth, it has to face a very serious problem: the high rate of unemployment among the youth (people under the age of 30). Considering Turkey’s large and growing population, and the high percentage of young people in this population, this situation is worrying and needs immediate and sustainable measures to secure a prosperous future for Turkey, it was discussed. It was also reiterated that Turkey’s future lies in the strength of its youth.

Talking about the government’s efforts to address this challenge, Dr. Borat mentioned some ongoing initiatives including the creation of a new basic education curriculum. This was agreed after having consulted with relevant stakeholders.

Dr. Borat disclosed that Turkey is restructuring its educational system – often criticised for being state-centered – and opening it up for society and dialogue with stakeholders. The Turkish Ministry of National Education is implementing its strategy aiming to improve the validation and recognition of formal, non-formal and informal education, to ensure swifter cooperation between the educational system (e.g. universities, the ministry) and the business community (e.g. Chambers of Commerce), and to establish a Turkish qualifications framework, while also promoting lifelong learning programs (LLL).

Unfortunately, these reforms have still been deemed insufficient. The VET (vocational education and training) schools still do not provide the competences and job qualifications that employers are looking for, it was stated. The high number of unemployed graduates confirms the lack of proper training in line with modern developments in technology.

Looking for ways forward, Dr. Oğuz Borat proposes training the unemployed in VET courses, especially at the second and third reference levels that are relevant to the actual needs of the labor market.

Also, he pointed to the necessity to continue training the employed youngsters in order to help them preserve their jobs, evolve in their career by obtaining better positions and, last but not least, to help them cope with today’s dynamic labor market.

Dr. Oğuz Borat is a distinguished Turkish academic, specialized in engineering and environmentally-related issues. The author of several articles and books on emissions performance, gasoline, automotive industry developments, Oğuz Borat has also written on technical and vocational education, the qualifications system and, in this context, about the decentralization of VET.

He has been awarded several prizes, such as Professor Emeritus of Santa Maria University, Venezuela (2009) and the Socrates International Award (2007). He was included in the International Register of the Outstanding Personalities of the Modern World by the European Rectors Club and Europe Business Assembly from Oxford, UK.

The Vocational Qualification Authority (VQA) is a Turkish instutitution with a main prerogative of helping to solve the vocational qualification problem in the country. Thus, the VQA is attempting to address Turkey’s chronic problem of unemployment. Its main task is to ensure the compatibility of the national vocational qualification system with European Union standards, while maintaining an open dialogue with social partners.

Friends of Turkey is an informal group of 73 Members of the European Parliament. The group organizes periodic meetings in order to closely follow the negotiations process between the EU and Turkey. The group provides a platform for open debate between MEPs and Turkish authorities and stakeholders aiming to contribute to the improvement of EU-Turkey relations. is an American research and analysis firm that provides dedicated coverage of the Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean regions, in areas ranging from politics and security to economics and culture. It draws on the expertise of its broad network of field analysts and reporters representing a number of various countries and professional backgrounds.

Balkanalysis Briefings is a regular series in which correspondents of, sometimes in affiliation with partner organizations, engage with representatives of companies, governmental institutions, non-governmental groups and other organizations professionally involved with the Balkan and Mediterranean regions in order to gain insight into issues, trends and other factors affecting present and future developments in the area. This process contributes to better analytical and prognostic research, allowing to better serve its readers, while also providing Briefings partners an opportunity to make their products, services and goals better and more clearly known among those most actively involved with the region.

For more information on how to arrange a briefing with for your firm, institution or other organization, please contact us directly.

2004-2009 Back Archives