İSKEP Closing Press Conference took place at Grand Ankara Hotel on November 7, 2016. In the conference held with the participation of Mr. Cevdet Sökmen, Deputy Secretary General of Union of Municipalities of Turkey, Ms. Virve Vimpari, Head of Economic and Social Development of EU Delegation, and Mr. Paulo Pedroso, Team Leader of İSKEP, contributions of İSKEP to social inclusion in Turkey and project outputs were shared with the press.
Opening speech of the conference was delivered by Mr. Cevdet Sökmen, Deputy Secretary General of UMT. Mr. Sökmen underlined that although the project was developed to contribute to promotion of social inclusion in Turkey and to support the creation of an inclusive labour market the activities were not limited to disadvantaged individuals who are designated as the target audience of the project. Mr. Sökmen stated that 20.000 individuals were reached through awareness raising activities in order to eliminate prejudice; 291 individuals received entrepreneurship training; 36 individuals set up their own business; more than 7000 individuals received individual and group guidance services under the scope of the project.
Underlining that the declaration signed during Social Inclusion Summit of May 17-18 organised through collaboration among Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, United Cities and Local Governments, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, Eurasia Strategy Institution and Ankara University acts as a guideline for all local authorities, Mr. Sökmen expressed that the project was transformed into a policy document from a local project.
Ms. Virve Vimpari, Head of Economic and Social Development of EU Delegation, stressed the importance of municipalities’ policies and services for employment policies. Ms. Vimpari stated that as the EU Delegation, they are pleased to work with 12 pilot municipalities in İSKEP; they believe that Social Support and Guidance Units established under the scope of the project will be very useful and they wish the continuation of this work. Underlining that diversity means richness, Ms. Vimpari indicated that main barriers to social inclusions are the barriers in people’s mind.
Mr. Paulo Pedroso, Team Leader of İSKEP, stated that the project was implemented in 10 provinces with 12 municipalities . Mr. Pedroso expressed that during the 27 months of implementation activities were conducted with the aim of establishing a unit to serve disadvantaged individuals; increasing employability of disadvantaged individuals and raising awareness of social inclusion of disadvantaged individuals among local service providers, decision makers and citizens. Mr. Pedroso presented an overview of outputs of the project:
- Social Support and Guidance Units were established in 12 municipalities, and municipality staff received more than 8000 hours of training.
- A database on disadvantaged individuals and service providers were set up. More than 7000 individuals were registered into the database.
- An institutional database comprising around 400 service providers from pilot provinces was established, and it became operational.
- 1000 disadvantaged individuals were referred to technical training programmes of İŞKUR and MoNE and received orientation.
- Local labour market analyses targeting disadvantaged individuals were conducted for the purposes of development of more effective and realistic employment policies at provincial level through the implementation of workshops and surveys with the participation of more than 850 stakeholders and employers, and occupations demanded by the labour market were identified.
- 2 field surveys were conducted to understand the level and depth of disadvantage at 12 pilot municipalities and perception of disadvantage by the society.
- More than 7000 disadvantaged individuals were reached through individual and group guidance activities of the project.
- More than 2000 disadvantaged individuals were prepared for employment through IT training, vocational training and orientation programmes.
- 281 individuals benefitted from entrepreneurship training; of them, 36 individuals set up their own business, and they employed 78 individuals.
- 358 individuals got a job under the scope of the project.
- More than 17,500 individuals were reached through events and campaigns organised with the aim of eliminating prejudice.
- More than 3000 news appearing in local and national media reached above 13 million individuals.