12/1/2023 11:38:35 AM

The Minister Mr. Işıkhan convened the Representatives from 44 WAPES Member Countries

The Minister of Labour and Social Security, Prof. Dr. Vedat Işıkhan convened the representatives from 44 member countries participating in the European Region Meeting of the World Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES) themed “Public Employment Services on NEETs: Global and Local Trends”.

In his speech at the event, the Minister Mr. Işıkhan expressed his appreciation in hosting this conference themed public employment services for young people neither in employment nor in education or training, called NEET. Mr. Işıkhan said “On this occasion, for their support and participation, I would like to thank the executive secretariat of WAPES, which enabled us to convene today, and the officials of Azerbaijan Public Employment Agency with whom we have strengthened our unity and cooperation in every field and are hosting the event”.

Mr. Işıkhan touched upon the human tragedy in Palestine in his speech. Mr. Işıkhan indicating that nearly 11 thousand innocent civilians have been killed since October 7 stated that “Unfortunately, the majority of these victims are women and children. No one should feel safe in a world where the life of an innocent civilian or a baby is not protected. As Turkiye, under the leadership of our President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, we have been trying to fulfil the responsibility that our history and civilization impose on us by expressing this reality to all countries, especially the countries in the region, which should take the initiative from the very beginning of the process, through one-to-one contacts. We are making and will continue to make every effort we can, both in terms of humanitarian and emergency aid and in terms of diplomatic initiatives. We expect this humanitarian approach from all countries of the world. Because this issue is not a matter of any religion or race, it is directly a matter of humanity, conscience and compassion."

“World Youth Population Nears 2 Billion

The Minister Mr. Işıkhan pointed out that the world is experiencing a rapid process of change and transformation and that rapidly developing technology, ever-changing financial markets, and increasing human and labour mobility in labour markets were just a few of the areas of radical change. On the other hand, noting that the Covid 19 pandemic that triggered this change and the flexible working styles that became widespread afterwards reshaped the labour market, Mr. Işıkhan said, "While countries struggle with unemployment and skill adaptation problems on a macroeconomic basis, our young people are among the most vulnerable groups at higher risk of unemployment. There are many reasons that increase the risk of unemployment, including skills adaptation problems, lack of experience, problems in transition from education to employment and deficiencies in vocational training, which we have frequently encountered in recent years. The concept of NEET, which is used to define the young population that is disconnected from education and employment for these and many other reasons, has become a problem of increasing international importance. Today, the world's youth population is close to 2 billion. Therefore, this rate, which corresponds to almost a quarter of the world population, makes it necessary for us to work together with greater sensitivity on youth employment. According to ILO reports, young people have 3 times more difficulty in finding a job than adults. Although NEET youth represents a significant portion of the unemployed youth, the NEET rate is a broader concept than the youth unemployment rate. In this respect, while many countries are still struggling with the NEET phenomenon, they consider it as a social policy problem rather than youth unemployment. Youth unemployment has a multidimensional structure in terms of social consequences. The potential of NEETs to be composed of young people who are disconnected from the labour market and who have lost hope brings with it the difficulty of reaching this group. For this reason, the development of policies and programmes that need to be developed specifically for NEETS, by addressing them with our international stakeholders based on mutual sharing is especially our primary goal. In this regard, we see Labour Market Support Programme for Young People Not in Employment Education or Training (NEET PRO), which was implemented to support labour market transition of NEETs, as an important sharing platform. With the Project, we are striving to bring a more comprehensive and systematic viewpoint to the challenges faced by the youth in labour markets. With our Conference, I believe the conference will result in significant conclusions and make important contributions that will improve our capacities in this field through learned experiences.”

“We Are Striving to Make the Century of Labour, Production, Employment, and Welfare with the Century of Türkiye Vision”

Minister Işıkhan stated that the Century of Türkiye goal showed the progress of Türkiye under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Işıkhan emphasised that the establishment of a fairer, more peaceful and more decent system in all areas in the world was the need of everyone stating that Türkiye would continue to be the solution centre of all national and international issues, and mainly working life, in the following period as it had been until then. Işıkhan said, “The primary target group of this system is, without question, the youth who are our surface treasures and will inherit our future with regard to peoples of all countries. As the member countries of World Association of Public Employment Services, our responsibility is to activate our current full potential by continuously capturing the learning and development opportunities. Our primary task is to operate and monitor this type of international cooperation mechanisms that will reveal and activate this potential. Only this way, I believe we will be able to solve every single issue that will affect the future of humanity in both national and global scale, for the good of all via cooperation, unity of mind and unity of strength. I wish the conference will be productive for our working life and the participant countries, and I’d like to pay my respects to you all.”

After his speech, Minister Işıkhan and the representatives of 44 countries gathered for a family photo.