Erdogan touts major employment project
A major employment project was promoted yesterday with a meeting bringing together high-level state officials and top business figures in Ankara. Among those attending the meeting were Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Social Security and Labor Minister Omer Dincer, Education Minister Nimet Cubukcu, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) head Rifat Hisarciklioglu, and many businesspeople. Addressing the meeting at TOBB Economy and Technology University to tout the project called Specialized Vocational Course Center, intended to provide employment opportunities to a total of 1 million people over five years, Erdogan said unemployment is Turkey's most important problem and that his government is doing everything necessary to reduce it. Stating that Turkey felt the impact of the global economic crisis later and started to emerge from the crisis earlier compared to other countries, Erdogan said, "Thanks to the measures we took, rises in unemployment amid the crisis were limited in comparison to the US and the EU." States producing employment by opening factories is outdated, Erdogan stressed, saying that under the new project unemployed people will be given vocational courses with guaranteed employment opportunities. "Students in these courses will be paid allowances by the Turkish Labor Institution (ISKUR), their social security premiums paid by the state," he added. "Successful ones will undergo training in companies under the TOBB umbrella, and most will be employed by again by these companies."