OVERVIEW

In Turkey, guidance services are carried out in various contexts by the Ministry of National Education (MONE), the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) which is an affiliated institution of the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services (MFLSS), universities, private sector, and trade unions and employer associations. MONE and İŞKUR provide most of the current services.

There are two main guidance and counselling systems in Turkey: one in the education sector (basic, secondary, VET schools, Guidance and Research Centres in provinces, tertiary education; career planning centres) and the other in the employment sector (basic secondary, VET, university education, adult learning). In the education sector, guidance practitioners, classroom teachers and specialists in career guidance centres are the practititioners and in the employment sector, Job and Vocational Counsellors are the main practitioners.

POLICY

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by all the related stakeholders as a base for the National Guidance Forum. Moreover, there are Provincial Employment and Vocational Training Boards, which support the development of employment and vocational education/training policies and to determine the local labour market demand, to support the educational and employment sector at the local level to develop and tailor their work according to the local demand. Moreover, to set action plans to develop employability and VET programmes at the local level. These Boards are established under the İŞKUR local organisational structure. There is a Vocation Advisory Commission called as MEDAK. MEDAK, whose presidency and secretary is coordinated by İŞKUR in the name of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, promotes the cooperation and coordination between the related stakeholders. MEDAK meets at regular intervals to discuss topical issues related to career guidance.

SERVICES AND PRACTICE

The guidance and psychological counselling services in MONE integrate educational, career and personal/social guidance services. Career guidance at schools is mainly provided by the guidance and psychological counselling service. According to the Skills Vision 2020, information, guidance and counselling and work-based learning are emphasised to actualise the 2020 Turkey vision for a socially cohesive, knowledge-based economy with reduced regional inequalities and a proactive, entrepreneurial workforce in which young people and women can participate fully. Driving the high-tech, low-tech, and high-capability agenda, coordinated and coherent employment, education and social cohesion policies complement the sectoral skills-related priorities at national and regional level, anticipating labour demand and providing a high-quality supply of required human resources.

Guidance and Research Centres in cities undertake coordination responsibilities with respect to guidance services.  They support access to guidance services, specifically for the children and parents of children with special needs. These Centres also offer specialist diagnostic services for students with special needs.  They also deliver individual and group guidance services in schools that do not have a guidance practitioner and offer a more general support resource to guidance services within schools. The Provincial Directorate for National Education, Special Education and Guidance Services Branch, the Provincial Directorate for National Education, and MONE’s DG for Special Education Guidance and Counselling Services are the structures that ensure provision of these services. MONE is currently the main career guidance service provider in educational settings.

Secondary Education

In general, secondary education, career guidance services are provided at each grade, career guidance is mainly focused around entry to higher education. The relationship of the main fields of study to higher education is presented in the 9 th grade (which is regarded as an orientation grade); examination and evaluation of possible careers is covered in the 10 th grade; and information about higher education choices, and preparation for entry to jobs and careers, are given in the 11 th grade. Career guidance services in secondary schools are provided by guidance practitioners and by class guidance teachers.

VET Education

Orientation in vocational and technical education may be carried out by the assistant principal, class teacher, guidance practitioner, or others. Students are guided to fields/branches in the 9 th, 10 th and 11 th grades according to the level, type and properties of the programs implemented in vocational and technical schools and institutions.

Higher Education

Several universities have strategic plans to promote the work on career guidance services and also Psychological Counselling and Guidance Services. There are centres of continuing training within many universities. These aim to empower the human resources that are in demand, to upgrade the skills of the adults for better job opportunities or to get employed with the acquisition of the new skills that are in demand. There are many training courses leading to certificates in various areas.

Public Employment Sector

İŞKUR (i.e. PES in Turkey), provide some basic services to all citizens such as job placement, job and vocational counselling services and active labour market policies. One of the main aims of these services is to give assistance for matching the qualifications of individuals and the requirements of a vocation or a job; to support the individual to select the most appropriate vocation or profession according to the prevailing conditions and his/her preferences/aspirations ; to support an individual’s adjustment to a job; and solveproblems related to placement. Job and Vocational Counsellors are the providers of these services.

Job and vocational counsellors who systematically assist

  • students in selection of profession, by giving seminars about importance of choosing a profession, job seeking skills etc. making group interviews on school visits,
  • jobseekers making individual and group interviews, who are registered with the İŞKUR database, to find jobs, to solve their vocational adaptation problems, to develop their professional skills, and to change their vocations/jobs,
  • employers, to whom information within the legal legislation is given to meet their demands.

İŞKUR provides, in cooperation with schools, detailed explanations to students about the importance of choosing a career, its relationship to educational choices, and the sources from which career information can be reached. İŞKUR also organizes class discussions and group discussions within both general and technical/vocational secondary education schools. In the context of class discussions individual interviews are held in the form of vocational counseling for students who want to know themselves, their professions and educational opportunities and have a more detailed knowledge of the professional orientation. Group discussions focus on vocational training alternatives after graduation, careers and working life. Conferences or sessions aim at developing job-search skills. Interview techniques and some tools of testing and assessment are used in individual counselling sessions. Another activity is meetings with parents which aim at enabling parents to adopt more conscious approaches in helping their children with career choices. Moreover, İŞKUR supports the students in selection of profession, by giving seminars about importance of choice of profession, job seeking skills etc. making group interviews in school visits.

İŞKUR, also provides vocational trainings to unemployed to develop their skills for employability. The trainings are designed based on the demand of the employers and the participants are informed about the opportunities to develop their opportunity awareness and are provided job and vocational counselling. İŞKUR applies active labour market policies. One of the main aims of it is to provide services for matching the qualifications of individuals and the skills required of different occupations. Moreover, job and vocational counsellors supports  the career planning of individuals and institutions in order to support the employment policies for diverse targeted groups, for example: those who will join labour force for the first time; adults who want to learn about  a profession or change profession; long-term unemployed; people with Unemployed Insurance Subsidy; youth starting a vocational education/training; disadvantaged groups (disabled, women etc.); those who benefit from social aids; self-employed.

İŞKUR had recruited almost 4,000 job and vocational counsellors in previous years. These staff are actively involved in career guidance for this group. International donour organisations (IOM, UNDP, WB) support the trainings for İŞKUR counsellors to empower them to work with this group. Moreover, specific assessment tools are in the process of development for the target group. İŞKUR delivers public employment services in Turkey and has service points throughout the country. In these service points main services have been served by job and vocational counsellors (JVC). In order to enable the JVCs to better and more effectively serve all jobseekers and employers registered with İŞKUR as well as students, each counsellor has assigned jobseeker, employer and school portfolio. The number of beneficiaries of the counselling services are increasing in every year. In 2018, 5.928.010 individual interviews had been done with 3.679.115 job seekers, 663.715 workplaces and 28.786 schools had been visited by JVCs. In these school visits, 1.122.636 students had benefited from counselling services.

TRAINING

To become a guidance practitioner, one should has a bachelor’s degree diploma in psychological guidance and counselling. Students enter to these programmes on entry to the university. Besides, to be a job and vocational counsellor one should has a bachelor’s degree diploma and vocational qualification certificate.

MoNE has continuous training programmes for the guidance practitioners. Guidance practitioners must have at least a bachelor’s degree in guidance and psychological counselling or in psychology. Courses in guidance and psychological counselling are offered by universities. They include some attention to career guidance, but focus mainly on psychological counselling. In recent years, graduates of other branches of educational sciences have also been appointed as guidance counsellors after taking additional courses. The desirability of this practice is disputed. Guidance counsellors can decide whether or not to pursue graduate education. Those who have completed graduate studies are preferred in some special projects, depending on the nature of the activity. All public and private universities in Turkey have undergraduate programmes in the related fields. Moreover, almost all universities have Master degree programmes. These are coordinated by the Higher Education Council. Moreover, occupational standards and qualifications have been developed for job and vocational counsellors and their competences could be validated and certified.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT  

The thematic areas currently covered by research and development in Turkey comprise career guidance, social and personal guidance, parent training, personnel qualifications, e-education research, web-based education and guidance systems, measurement and evaluation in guidance. The main bodies involved in research and development activities are:

  • Universities
  • Research Centres in Universities
  • Department for Education, Research and Development under the Ministry of  National Education (MoNE)
  • Guidance and Research Centres affiliated wit DG for Special Education Guidance and Counselling Services under MoNE

ETHICS

There are some guidelines for the services in guidance and counselling. The Turkish Association for Psychological Counselling and Guidance has published these guidelines. For the time being, there is no national ethical guideline in Turkey.

Last update by ©Euroguidance Turkey (June 2019)