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Turkey's skills snapshot


Developing the relevant skills

  • How well does Turkey’s education system perform? In the 2009 PISA tests of 15-year-olds, Turkey performs below the OECD average in reading (rank 41), mathematics (rank 43) and science (rank 43).1
  • How much are Turkish citizens undertaking further education? In 2008, 13% of Turkish citizensparticipated in continuing non-formal education compared to the OECD average of 34%.2
  • Should more be done to prevent skills shortages? The unemployment rate rose between 2007 and 2011,3 and some 48% of Turkey’s employers reported recruitment difficulties in 2011.4,5

Supplying skills

  • Is there scope to improve skill utilisation in Turkey through strengthening labour force participation? In 2011, 62% of people aged between 25 and 54 were in the labour force, compared to an OECD average of 81%.6 The participation rate for prime-age women (aged 25-54) is significantly below the OECD average at 35% in 2011 (OECD average 71%).7 
  • To what extent are Turkey's older workers supplying their skills to the labour market? In 2011, only 33% of people aged 55 to 64 were in the labour force, compared to an OECD average of 58%.8      

Using skills

  • How smooth is the transition from school to work for Turkey’s youth? The employment rate of Turkey’s youth in 2011 was 32%, compared with the OECD average of 39%.9 In 2011, the unemployment rate of Turkey’s youth was 16.7%, almost on par with the OECD average of 16.2%.10
  • Are the qualifications of Turkey’s workers well matched with the requirements of their jobs? In 2005, 40% of Turkey’s workers were over-qualified for their jobs (against theOECD average of 25%), and 3% were under-qualified (against the OECD average of 22%).11 Over-qualified (under-qualified) workers are those who have a higher (lower) qualification than the most common qualification of all other workers in the same occupation.


Key recommendations from the OECD Skills Strategy

A country can develop the relevant skills by encouraging and enabling people to learn throughout life; fostering international mobility of skilled people to fill skills gaps; and promoting cross-border skills policies.

A country can activate the supply of skills by encouraging people to offer their skills to the labour market and retaining skilled people in the labour market.

A country can put skills to effective use by creating a better match between people’s skills and the requirements of their job and increasing the demand for high-level skills.

For more information, see the:

OECD Policy Map on Skills | OECD Skills Strategy | Skills Strategy: Overview

Watch this video on skills and education systems in Turkey


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