Employers’ Engagement Toolkit
Skills@Work Regional Project
“Improving and supporting the VET System in Turkey through sister school partnership in catering
Employers’ Engagement Toolkit
Today the most important power of the enterprises and countries for their existence in the international
competition is the skills and efficiency of human resources. For the enterprises, the most difficult to imitate
competition factor is neither their technology and infrastructure nor the newly developed products: it is the
human resource. Educating, training and developing the human resource demanded by the enterprises are not
only the responsibilities of the schools and the state; these are at the same time the responsibilities of the
The existence of a human resource demonstrating continuous development in an education and training system
based on the principle of life-long learning is one of the strengths of the country’s economy.
In the development of this strength, the role of VET is ever-increasing. A curriculum developed according to the
needs and in compliance with the practices, the national competencies and the occupational standards will
positively affect the progress in the country. The unison and efficiency of all these stages will be achieved
through the cooperation between the industry, the education sector and the social partners.
The British Council which is the UK’s main agency for developing cultural relations with other countries and has
been working in Turkey since 1940 is carrying out activities to create a synergy between education and
business, as education is one of its priority areas.
In this sense, planning and realization of the project skills@work and one of its sub-components “improving and supporting the VET System in Turkey through sister school partnership in catering sector” coincide with the British Council’s priorities and goals: cooperation and sharing expertise between the countries...
The British Council is also providing support for sharing expertise and experiences between the United Kingdom
and Turkey besides acting as a bridge for cooperation and bringing together the different parties in this project.
The most important stage in the development of VET is a mutual understanding of the needs by the industry
and education sectors.
The expected outcome of the British Council’s “improving and supporting the VET System in Turkey
through sister school partnership in catering sector” is the continuation of the existing dialogue and
cooperation efforts in the country in a more systematic manner based on processes. To this aim, we have come
The United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. A registered charity: 209131 (England and Wales) SC037733 (Scotland).
together with MoNE (Ministry of National Education) General Directorate of Technical Education for Girls and
YESİDEF (federation for catering companies in Turkey) which are strongest actors in the sector and carried out
this project based on the cooperation of the schools and industry in the catering services sector.
British Council wishes that the project design and implementation skills of the schools and enterprises will
increasingly continue both in the field of catering services and in other sectors.
Education Project Manager – Vocational Education and Skills
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The development levels of the societies using information and technology are in parallel with the importance they attach to vocational and technical education. The skill in using information and technology directly relates to the duration and quality of education. The Ministry of National Education, General Directorate of Technical Education for Girls developing and implementing the education policies conducts planning activities on providing vocational education for women besides increasing the quality of VET, expanding vocational education and ensuring the employability of the graduates.
For the vocational education and training to bring up individuals capable of meeting the needs of the society, there needs to be an on-going process of developing modular programs based on competencies, providing suitable equipment, contributing to the educational policies of the sector, reflecting the sector developments and changing education methods to the education and training by the educators.
We are developing projects and making use of several funds to follow the global progress in the vocational and technical education and training and transferring the novelties to our system.
The project developed in this line jointly by the British Council and the YESİDEF through an education cooperation protocol serves the goals desired to be achieved in VET. The activities of the project enabled the representatives of the schools and industry to compare the VET in our country and in the UK and to study the good practices.
In the preparation of the sub-component developed in partnership with the school and industry; the workshop, the study visit and the experiences and different practices of the Doncaster College experts provided contributions and a new perspective, and helped the partners to learn working together.
The project will contribute to our catering services education and training institutions in bringing up competent employee desired by the sector and to ensure the employability of the graduates. With this project, the development and needs of the catering services sector will be closely followed and it will be possible to come up with common solutions.
Employers’ Engagement Toolkit is an important output of the project for the extension and sustainability of the
project as a good practice of the education and industry partnership serving to the overall goals of vocational education and training (VET).
We hope that this project will serve as a role-model for the education and training institutions in the other sectors and the experiences achieved will provide a basis for future efforts.
Sema Şentürk MoNE General Directorate of Technical Education for Girls
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Director for Project Development
The federation for catering companies in Turkey (YESİDEF) established in 2005 by the Associations
of Food Industrialists active in Ankara, Adana, Izmir, Istanbul, Bursa and Konya provinces is the first
and only non-governmental organization representing our sector. We target reaching a good level of
competition with the EU and the world for our sector currently having a business volume of 5 billion
US Dollars and employing 350,000 personnel besides providing employment indirectly to 1,500,000
Our federation aims at strengthening all institutions under our umbrella, as members of a large family,
against the market conditions. Besides, we are working for the widespread adoption of the principles
such as absolute quality in services and products, compliance with health standards, respecting the
world we live in, observing ethical values among ourselves and in competition. To achieve these
goals, our sector first of all needs well-trained individuals. With its mission of giving support to the
education activities from a total quality perspective, YESİDEF is guiding and leading its members on
In order to solve the most vital problem of our sector, the lack of trained and qualified employee, the
education and training committee set up by our federation in 2007 has started its activities. In 2008,
the education and training cooperation protocol signed with MoNE General Directorate of Technical
Education for Girls enabling us to work with professional educators, accelerated our activities.
In line with the principle of continuous learning to keep pace with the rapid progress in the vocational
education, our cooperation with the VET institutions will further develop our sector. While we are
trying to identify the educational needs of our sector, we are also working on developing new
As we continue such efforts, our participation in the “improving and supporting the VET System in
Turkey through sister school partnership in catering sector” project developed by the British
Council and MoNE General Directorate of Technical Education for Girls has enabled us to bring
together the Vocational Schools for Girls and YESİDEF member firms.
We believe that the outputs of this project that we are proud to be a part of will be a role-model to the
other firms. We hope that this project which should be taken as a proof of our continuous
collaboration with the education institutions can be implemented countrywide by our firms and all
vocational high schools. The project will immensely contribute to the development of the food
industry as an example of sector cooperation within the education policies of the MoNE. As our great
leader Atatürk said, “The youth is our future”.
I would like to extend my thanks to the staff of the British Council, General Directorate of Technical
Education for Girls, the firms and the schools contributing to the project.
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The federation for catering companies in Turkey
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The Project on “improving and supporting the VET System in Turkey through sister school partnership
in catering sector” is a component of the Skills@Work project that has been implemented by the British
Council since 2007 in eighteen countries across South East Europe.
The goal of the Skills@Work is to increase the cooperation between the employers, the social partners and the
education institutions for strengthening the vocational education which is one of the most important factors in
The following activities are being carried out within the scope of Skills@Work project:
? Senior level seminars on vocational education and training in the countries of the region
? Youth competitions for developing the entrepreneurial skills
? Cooperation between the colleges in the UK and in the countries of the region
? Local activities in compliance with the priorities and needs of the countries
“improving and supporting the VET System in Turkey through sister school partnership in catering
sector” has been locally developed and implemented taking into consideration the VET agenda, needs and
priorities of Turkey.
During the planning stage of the “improving and supporting the VET System in Turkey through sister school partnership in catering sector”, a number of meetings and workshops with MoNE, vocational high schools, vocational higher education institutions and professional organizations and consequently it was
decided to primarily start the development of partnerships between schools and enterprises in the catering
The main goal of the project started following the signing of the protocol between the British Council and MoNE
General Directorate of Technical Education for Girls in partnership with YESİDEF is “bringing up the human
resources demanded by the catering services sector in line with the sector needs; contributing to the
development of the business and the employment by ensuring the sustainability of this effort.”
The goals of the “improving and supporting the VET System in Turkey through sister school partnership
in catering sector”:
Familiarizing the students with the enterprises through opportunities other than compulsory practical
Enabling the teachers to closely follow the sector and innovations;
Transfer of the developments and innovations in the sector by establishing one to one and close
relationships between the entrepreneurs and managers of the enterprises and the schools;
Business participation in the development of the content and materials for delivering an education and
training in compliance with the vocational standards;
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Establishing sustainable relationships between the enterprises and the schools that will continue after the
completion of the project;
Supporting and increasing the cooperation among the enterprises to boost their contributions to the
vocational education and the business;
Following and observing the developments in the business and the education systems abroad and
transferring the methods, expertise and good practices to our country.
The projects steps taken in order to develop the projects establishing school and enterprise partnerships and catering for the needs of the local partners with a view to serve these goals are:
Matching Workshop (19 – 20 December 2008, Istanbul)
Pilot partners were selected from IYSAD, YESIAD and EYSAD (associations) member firms under YESIDEF
and Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir VET schools under MoNE General Directorate of Technical Education for Girls
and the workshop for the representatives of the selected schools and firms was conducted by the
administrators of the Doncaster College from the UK.
In the workshop designed for discussing and developing project ideas by the partnering schools and enterprises, the partners have prepared the draft plans for their projects.
Doncaster College provided an overview of how the education and industry cooperation is carried out in the
vocational education and training in the UK and how the education and training are delivered in the catering
services sector and guided the project ideas of the partners with their experiences and expertise.
Project partners completed the detailed plans of their projects in January and February following the workshop and began to take the first steps of their plans.
UK Study Visit (11 – 14 February 2009)
Project partners participated in the Doncaster study visit to learn more about the VET in the catering services sector in the UK and the Doncaster College that they had a chance to meet previously with its administrators
during the matching workshop.
The school representatives visited the training kitchens of the Doncaster College, attended the practical training sessions and learned about the training and education, the measurement and evaluation methods, and
establishing and continuing relations with the industry.
The company representatives had a chance to visit the institutes and companies in this sector and compare
their sector with the one in the UK.
The greatest contribution of this study visit to Doncaster College for both sides was developing new ideas and methods for more active collaboration.
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The participants were able to observe and learn about through what processes UK - having achieved a
substantive level of progress in the last 15 years – had been and with what methods it is trying to increase efficiency. The level achieved in Turkey and the similarities and differences were evaluated; new approaches
and practices were tackled.
Following this UK study visit, the project partners continued their progress in the project steps. The project steps
of the partners will continue after March 2009.
Without doubt, in this project jointly carried out by the British Council, MoNE General Directorate of Technical
Education for Girls and YESİDEF, most of the efforts were made by the companies and schools.
Despite the fact that the planning and the partnership were initiated several months ago, the project was
actually started in December 2009 and the progress made in March 2009 - that is in only 4 months - has been
incredible. The greatest share in this success belongs to the companies and vocational high schools that have
worked with great enthusiasm, devotion and discipline.
The project partners have been in real “partnership” and completed all the work on time and in full.
This partnership which is currently realized by only 6 schools and firms in the catering services sector will
provide a basis for projects with more partners and for longer periods.
As it is the case for all fields, the main principle in the vocational education and training is sustainability. Three
basic elements are needed to pass this principle through the partnerships in other sectors:
1) Willingness and commitment of the partners;
2) Realistic project goals and practicable activities;
3) Process-based and causal development and realization of the projects.
The approach and ownership of both MoNE General Directorate of Technical Education for Girls and YESİDEF
have enabled an effective integration of these three elements in the project.
The most important thing for the project planners and implementers was to see that the future steps of the
project will also continue after March 2009.
Within the scope of the project, a project design that could be implemented not only in catering services sector
but also in other sectors was tried to be developed. Basically what was tried to be put forth was not “having 6
schools and 6 firms develop a project”; but “developing a process and method for school-enterprise partnerships”
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Sustainability could only be ensured by developing and continuously improving the process and methods. For
this reason, the development process of the “improving and supporting the VET System in Turkey through sister school partnership in catering sector”, the difficulties encountered by the project partners and the things to be taken into consideration in partnership organizations are given in the part on project development
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CATERING SERVICES SECTOR PARTNERSHIP PROJECS
KÜÇÜKKÖY TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
& DOĞUŞ CATERING COMPANY
Developing and implementing occupational health and safety programs in the catering companies and the
education and training institutions, which are executable and suitable for meeting the expectations of the
43,500 TL (approx 18.200 GBP)
Aims and Expected Outcomes of the Project:
? Increasing the number of the employees trained and certified in the occupational health and safety issues.
? By carrying out such training activities in the formal and non-formal VET institutions, increasing the
qualifications of the prospective human resources from now on.
? Extending the certification activities of IYSAD and MoNE and developing competencies.
The project partners decided to work on the occupational health and safety issues considering the expectations
and needs of the catering sector; they aimed at minimizing the occupational accidents in the sector through a
training program on awareness raising and developing the knowledge and practical skills of the existing and
It is planned to implement this jointly developed program throughout the country in the schools of MoNE
General Directorate of Technical Education for Girls and YESİDEF members. Those usefully completing the
program will be given certificates approved by IYSAD and MoNE which will also serve both the definition and
the measurement – evaluation of the relevant competencies.
? Planning the project steps (December 2008 – January 2009) ? Design of the training program and content-building (January 2009 – February 2009)
? Developing training materials (March 2009 – ongoing) ? Setting the measurement and assessment criteria (March 2009 – ongoing)
? Identifying the number of participants (01 – 10 April 2009) ? Training (04 May – 27 June 2009)
? Evaluation and certification (29 June – 03 July 2009)
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