Chapter 4. Towards an action plan for jobs in Turkey: Recommendations and best practices

Stimulating job creation at the local level requires integrated actions across employment, training and economic development portfolios. This requires policies which can be catered to the local level, up-to-date and accurate data, and integrated partnerships that leverage the efforts of stakeholders. This chapter outlines the key recommendations emerging from the review of local job creation policies in Turkey, looking at local employment and economic development strategies in Kocaeli and Trabzon.


Towards an action plan for jobs: Recommendations for Turkey

Overall recommendations

Better aligning programmes and policies to local economic development

  • Establish local strategic planning processes to integrate employment and economic development efforts.

  • Develop stronger local research and analytical capacities by leveraging the role of universities in producing labour market information and forecasting skills needs.

Adding value through skills

  • Encourage more partnerships between the training system and employers to ensure that skills development programmes are well connected to labour market demand.

Targeting policy to local employment sectors and investing in quality jobs

  • Foster the better use of talent in the workplace to boost quality job creation and the productive capacities of local economies.

Being inclusive

  • Launch a youth employment strategy at the national level and identify innovative local approaches, which could be adapted to other regions in Turkey.

  • Urgently re-focus labour market integration efforts to assist migrants in developing employability skills.

Recommendations for the case study areas


  • Launch skills development programmes focused on the tourism sector to improve the services available and promote the sector’s job creation potential.

  • Build stronger partnerships with the university sector to reduce skills mismatches and align curriculum to the local labour market

  • Establish pilot programmes, which encourage employers to think more strategically about their workforce and human resources management to promote job quality.


  • Develop pilot programmes, which help local manufacturers improve their use of technology and better connect them to global value chains.

  • Increase the number of youth and employers participating in apprenticeship and other work-based training programmes.

  • Work with large employers to raise awareness on the importance of human resource management issues and encourage them to use their supply chain management practices to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to undertake more skills training.

Better aligning policies and programmes towards local economic development

Recommendation: Establish local strategic planning processes to integrate employment and economic development efforts.

At the regional and local level, Provincial Boards of Employment and Vocational Education (PEVTBs) provide a formal governance platform to bring together a broad range of employment, skills and economic development actors to discuss labour market issues. These boards are expected to identify unique local challenges and potential programme solutions to address them. When a consensus is reached by the board, they issue mandatory decisions on which employment and skills policies should be taken at the local level.

However, local employment and economic planning is often based on short-term considerations, which reflects the duration of appointments for İŞKUR and Ministry of National Education senior officials, which typically last no longer than 4-5 years. These officials also tend to be non-locals assigned to posts for a limited period of time. This means that most public officials are unlikely to spend a long duration of their career in the province where they are currently assigned, which limits the sense of community ownership among public officials. There is also a strong culture of central administration in Turkey, which can impact on the willingness of local stakeholders to formulate innovative policy solutions for the local labour market.

Going forward, the government should consider establishing a more formal strategic planning process, which integrates employment and economic development objectives. Local development plans in Trabzon and Kocaeli (and other provinces in Turkey) should be formulated on a more systematic basis, which defines local employment and economic development opportunities as well as the necessary actions that need to be taken to achieve the region’s potential. This strategic planning process should involve local actors working together to articulate a vision for the local economy and the priority sectors that need to be developed for future job creation and growth. Currently, it appears that this type of long-term integrated planning process does not exist at the local level.

For example, in both Trabzon and Kocaeli, priority sectors for local development have been articulated through provincial development board meetings and similar forums attended by local stakeholders, or through informal vision development or foresight exercises undertaken by specific local actors, such as the Chamber of Industry. However, there is no indication as to the existence of well-defined action plans that formally assign roles to each local stakeholder to ensure effective follow-up action is taken and then evaluated. In the development of such plans, there is an opportunity for regional development agencies to play a greater role in identifying and co-ordinating possible actions with the broader range of employment and skills stakeholders. İŞKUR would also need to play an active role in any long-term strategic planning process to ensure that employment and training opportunities can be created around the priority sectors identified and better anticipate skills needs in the future.

Currently, there is little evidence that the compatibility of the supply of skills within the existing labour force is given serious consideration in the identification of strategic growth sectors. For example, the local economic development visions in Kocaeli and Trabzon seemed to involve expansion to higher tech/higher value-added industries, even though such developments may not align with the existing supply of skills. A revised strategic planning process in Turkey should ensure that provinces conduct a skills gap analysis, which takes into account their existing stock of skills and how it can effectively contribute to job creation in the future. Turkey could look to the Local Workforce Investment Boards in the United States (see Box 4.1), which are required to undertake a strategic planning process as part of their management of the employment and skills system.

Box 4.1. OECD example: Strategic planning by Local Workforce Investment Boards in the United States

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, nearly 600 Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIAs) and close to 3 000 One-Stop Career Centres have been established. The local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) administer WIOA services as designated by the Governor of their state and within the regulations of the federal statute and US Department of Labor (USDOL) guidelines. Members of local workforce investment boards are appointed by local elected officials in accordance with criteria established by the Governor. Local WIBs are typically an extension of a local government unit, which in most cases is the county government and can include more than one government entity. Local WIBs are not agencies of the federal or state governments, and their staff is not comprised of federal or state employees.

Local WIBs are governed by a board comprised of business and civic leaders and, to a lesser extent, representatives of social service organisations, educational agencies and labour groups. WIA requires at least 51% of the board members to be business leaders so that the needs of businesses are readily taken into account in designing and delivering employment services.

The local WIB develops and submits a local area plan to the Governor, appoints local one‐stop operators, and selects eligible organisations to provide services for youth and adults. Local and state Workforce Investment Boards are held accountable through common measures of performance for each of the three WIA programmes. For the two adult programmes, the common measures are based on employment outcomes – the ability of the programme participant to find and retain a decent-paying job upon leaving the programme.

WIOA requires that the Governor of each state submit a WIA/Wagner-Peyser State Plan to USDOL that outlines a five-year strategy for its workforce investment system. USDOL must approve the state plan in order for the state to receive formula allotments under WIA or financial assistance under Wagner-Peyser. Each local WIB is also required to develop and submit a plan for the Governor’s approval. The content of the plan is very similar to the state plan. As in the state plan, the local plan must include an analysis of the workforce investment needs of businesses, job seekers and workers in the area, the current and projected employment opportunities in the local area, and the job skills necessary to obtain such employment opportunities. The local plan must also include a description of the activities it intends to pursue to meet the identified needs; the memoranda of understanding it has established between itself and each of its one-stop partners; and performance targets negotiated between the local board and the Governor.

Source: OECD (2014a), Employment and Skills Strategies in the United States, OECD Reviews on Local Job Creation, OECD Publishing, Paris,

Going forward in Turkey, a small task force in each province could be established to focus on local employment and economic development opportunities over the long-term. Ideally, this type of task force should comprise experts/representatives from the regional development agency, the local universities and local chambers and the provincial directorate of İŞKUR. They should study possible employment scenarios and the associated skill needs of various local development strategies (e.g. whether it makes sense to promote the expansion of different types of industries or expand into new economic areas) and report their findings at least twice a year at the relevant Provincial Employment and Vocational Training Board (PEVTB). The reports of these task forces should explicitly state any trade-offs and bottlenecks associated with each local development scenario, to allow for systematic and constructive policy debate based on evidence and analysis at the PEVTB and other forums.

Given the limited local capacities in many provinces, however, these task forces should be led by a team leader to be chosen from a pool of well-trained staff at the İŞKUR headquarters in Ankara, and assigned to a unit responsible for that province at the General Directorate. Ideally, the İŞKUR’s headquarters should have a template to evaluate future local employment and economic development strategies in each province. This should be prepared in such a way to provide a general framework of evaluation, recognising the uniqueness and aspirations of each provincial economy, while also keeping in mind the need for innovative local inputs. The team leader from the provincial unit could attend a pre-determined number of task force meetings in the province, to effectively lead the group. Likewise, İŞKUR could bring together task force members across Turkey annually for a progress evaluation meeting where local experiences could be shared and policy ideas could be exchanged.

Recommendation: Develop stronger local research and analytical capacities by leveraging the role of universities in producing labour market information and forecasting skills needs.

There is an opportunity to make better use of capacities available at local universities to develop labour market evaluations and forecasting reports, which look at the skill needs of the local economy. While some collaborative initiatives involving local universities do exist, it appears that there is room to strengthen these types of collaborations in both Trabzon and Kocaeli. For example, Kocaeli University has recently led a study looking at the job creation potential of the Information and Community Technology (ICT) sector for the province. These types of studies should be emulated by other universities in Turkey and could also serve as a useful input into any longer-term strategic planning process.

Under such a scenario, local universities would become more engaged in the production of labour market information, which offer insights into the competitive position of Turkish provinces and sector specific analysis, which could compare the strengths and weaknesses of the local economy. This type of analysis would provide local stakeholders with a more comprehensive understanding of the labour market and point to specific policy areas where action is needed. Labour market information is often the “glue” which can further sustain and strengthen local partnerships. It can also help local stakeholders to develop a shared understanding of potential challenges. Lastly, information can serve as a “call to action”, which can propel public actors into taking concrete steps to improve the competitive position of their province. İŞKUR could play a role in this type of exercise by launching a call for proposals across Turkey to local academics to produce provincially specific labour market studies, which build awareness and knowledge around employment and economic development issues at the regional level in Turkey.

Adding value through skills

Recommendation: Establish stronger linkages between the training system and local employers to ensure that skills development programmes are well connected to labour market demand.

In Turkey, there are major challenges concerning to school to work transitions. Several concrete measures such as the addition of career guidance topics and several key competencies to the curricula at schools have been taken since 2010. To facilitate this transition, however, gaps between skills acquired at schools and skills needed in the labour market need to be addressed more effectively. In general, the government needs to expand access to apprenticeships, work-place training programmes as well as opportunities for modular learning. Stronger mechanisms, which encourage and expand communication between employers and policy makers, and improvements to the consultation interface that allows dissemination of knowledge across all stakeholders in the vocational education and training (VET) system would also enable smoother school to work transitions, while helping to address potential skills mismatches at the local level. The experience with provincial Course Management Boards of the UMEM project is valuable in this context and provides a useful basis to design mechanisms to increase employer involvement.

During the OECD study visit, many local stakeholders in Kocaeli and Trabzon noted the importance of involving employers more in the design and development of employment and training programmes. Employers have a key role to play in defining their labour market needs and working with the vocational education and training system to ensure that skills are being developed to align with local labour market demand. Currently, it appears that employer engagement could be strengthened in Turkey through stronger communication and co‐ordinated outreach among public actors at the local level. In particular, employers could play a stronger advisory role with the vocational education and training system, advising on course content and service delivery arrangements. Box 4.2 provides an international example from Ontario, Canada, where employers play a direct role in advising local community colleges on course content and curriculum.

Box 4.2. OECD example: Programme Advisory Committees in Ontario, Canada

In Ontario, Canada, each community college (i.e. VET institution) has a Programme Advisory Committee (PAC), which is composed of employers, to assist in keeping the programmes offerings relevant and to alert the colleges to training gaps. Programme Advisory Committees report to the President of the college through a Board of Governors. PACs help to define graduate requirements and course content.

Source: OECD (2014b), Employment and Skills Strategies in Canada, OECD Reviews on Local Job Creation, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Several local stakeholders noted that some smaller provinces knowingly offer vocational training programmes, which encourage the unemployed to acquire skills demanded by businesses located in other provinces rather than the local industry, effectively acting as skill “exporters” within Turkey. While this could be a meaningful local economic development strategy, to the extent that such emigration will later generate remittances receipts or investments – particularly if other constraints (such as the small size of the local market) prevent further development of local industry, it is ultimately sub-optimal for the training sector to be offering these types of courses.

In particular, apprenticeships are a key skills development mechanism, which enable learners to develop a good mix of generic and occupationally specific skills. Beyond the apprenticeship system, there is scope in Turkey to increase the scope and intensity of other types of work-based training opportunities which lead to good career progression opportunities and pathways within a workplace or sector. The role of employer associations is particularly important, as they can act as a means to improve SME engagement and function as a buffer to make sure training is not too tailored to the demands of a single industry. Box 4.3 provides an international example from the UK, where local apprenticeship hubs have been established to coordinate outreach with employers (especially SMEs) and encourage their participation in apprenticeship programmes.

Box 4.3. OECD example: Local apprenticeship hubs in the United Kingdom

There has also been a recent push to increase the number of apprenticeships in the UK at both the upper-secondary and post-secondary levels. Apprenticeships have received significant policy attention under the last two UK governments, with the number in England doubling since 2010. The recent establishment of new local institutional structures (e.g. Combined Authorities) and the devolution of funding and greater responsibility to local areas to support economic growth (e.g. via City Deals/Local Growth Deals) is providing new opportunities for UK cities to lead, shape and implement skills strategies.

As part of the City Deal process, the city Manchester and Leeds have decided to invest in skills, with a priority focus on apprenticeships. In Manchester a new Apprenticeship and Skills Hub was set up in 2012-13 with a budget of six million pounds to increase the number of people taking apprenticeships at level 3 and above, and to support apprenticeships within SMEs. The initial aim was to increase the number of 16-24 year olds starting apprenticeships by 10% a year every year until 2017/18, however this target was later abandoned.

A primary aim of the Apprenticeships Hub was to maximise demand for apprenticeships from employers, by carrying out marketing exercises, encouraging the public sector to provide civic leadership by taking on apprentices, and building capacities amongst smaller employers to recruit and manage apprentices. At the same time, there has been a campaign to increase the take up of apprenticeships amongst young people through the investment in careers advice and guidance in schools. A third aim has been to boost the capacity of local training providers to develop higher-level apprenticeships in growth sectors within the Manchester economy. To date most of the work of the Apprenticeship Hub has focused on the following:

  1. Providing information, advice and guidance to young people: The emphasis given in Greater Manchester to the promotion of information, advice and guidance for young people has reflected broader concerns about careers advice in schools and colleges, and the extent to which vocational training and apprenticeships were being promoted.

  2. Building capacity amongst training providers: The second main area of activity in Greater Manchester to date has been building capacity in the training provider sector, particularly in the field of higher and advanced level apprenticeships.

  3. Engaging employers: A key priority for Greater Manchester has been to engage more small to medium size enterprises or SMEs, of which there are 97 000 in Greater Manchester. The learning so far is that this process is partly about managing the expectations amongst these employers as to what makes somebody ’job ready’ at the age of 19.

The Greater Manchester apprenticeships hub is overseen by a core partnership involving the ten Greater Manchester Local Authorities, the Chamber of Commerce, the Skills Funding Agency, the Learning Provider Network, the Colleges Group and the North West Business Leadership team. These organisations are involved in project commissioning and steering. The core partners meet every four months and there are sub-groups, for example focusing on marketing (the latter involves a business representative and a young apprentice).

Source: OECD (2017a, forthcoming), Engaging employers in apprenticeship opportunities at the local level, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Investing in quality jobs and stimulating productivity

Recommendation: Foster the better utilisation of skills to boost quality job creation and the productive capacities of local economies.

Creating quality jobs is a key pillar towards an effective employment and skill system. This means considering how skills are developed but also how they are put to use by employers. When employers are demanding a higher level of skills as a result of the employment opportunities available, it will result in greater skills development opportunities as well as innovation within the training system. Previous OECD research has highlighted that resources in Turkey do not flow enough from lower to higher-productivity activities, despite ever greater government incentives to promote formal businesses investment in selected regions and sectors (OECD, 2014d).

İŞKUR should re-examine its suite of employment and training programmes to ensure a focus on higher productivity activities that stimulate the demand for skills through incentives, which encourage stronger entrepreneurship and skills development opportunities within SMEs. This would involve looking at how to move low value-added sectors into higher value-added production through technology transfer and adoption. Local universities and the VET sector can play an important role in this regard by working locally with employers to conduct applied research as well as sharing knowledge on the use of technology in the production process. Box 4.4 provides an international example from Korea, which has seen success in this policy area.

Box 4.4. OECD example: KOREATECH Bridge Model

The KOREATECH Bridge Model fosters training together among large and small-medium size firms. The local university (KOREATECH) plays a role in bridging the technology gap between large and smaller employers. The KOREATECH bridge model comprises a three-way academia-industry partnership involving a major enterprise, its partner SMEs and KOREATECH. The university offers an Employment Training Programme which offers short-term courses to employees of participating firms.

This bridge model was first pioneered by Samsung Electronics and its sub-contractors in 2006. Samsung and KOREATECH collaborated to build an Advanced Technology Education Centre and jointly conducted demand surveys to develop relevant programme curriculum. Samsung contributed technical knowledge, equipment, and industry experts to co-teach courses. Samsung’s sub-contractors contributed employee to be trained in Samsung’s latest technology and KOREATECH provides the facilities and operates the centre. The Bridge Model’s success has led to its expanded application across 11 universities in Korea by 45 medium enterprise and 2 268 SMEs.

KOREATECH has also established the Leaders Industry-University Co-operation (LINK Project) which fosters working professional in specific sectors. The project is designed to expand and advance entrepreneurship within the education system as well as to foster strong industry-university linkages.

Source: OECD (2014c), Employment and Skills Strategies in Korea, OECD Publishing, Paris,

In general, stronger co-ordination is needed (both horizontally among local actors and vertically between local and national agencies) regarding how to effectively reach out to employers to stimulate innovation and productivity through the best use of skills and effective work organisation programmes. İŞKUR could play a stronger role in sharing success stories of training programmes within SMEs, which have stimulated innovation and productivity.

At the local level, job and vocational counsellors within İŞKUR provide an effective mechanism to ensure that employment services are working with employers to identify job opportunities and match unemployed people to jobs. These counsellors are well connected to the local labour market and have established valuable connections with a number of employers. They could be given a “steer” to work with employers on skills utilisation and work organisation issues. In some cases, employers may not be able to find appropriate candidates because the job on offer is of poor quality therefore it is important to work with employers to stimulate a stronger demand for skills in the labour market. Box 4.5 provides an example from Quebec, Canada, where the local public employment service is directing involved in working with employers on human resources and organisational management practices to improve job quality.

Box 4.5. OECD example: Public employment services in Quebec, Canada working with employers on human resources practices

In recent years, Emploi-Québec has been focusing on working with employers on human resource management practices under the assumption that employers who employ good human resource practices tend to have better operations with more stable and productive employees. The resources available, however, limit the number of employers that can be visited. Two specialised centres in the Montreal regional office of Emploi-Québec are intended to support and encourage better use of skills on the part of employers including on the following issues:

  • Diagnosis of human resource issues;

  • Support management (coaching);

  • The establishment of a consultative committee within the company so that it can adapt to major changes that could jeopardise jobs; this committee analyses the difficulties, proposes solutions and sees to the implementation of an action plan and its monitoring.

  • The human resource management support by a specialist to notably improve ways to make recruitment, skills development, retention or Performance Evaluation

  • The establishment of a human resources department.

Sector labour committees supported by the Labour Market Partners Commission are taking a greater interest in developing workplace capabilities and are offering work analysis to facilitate job laddering within the sector. This can help employers look at internal development of employees as an option to external recruitment as well as better assist employees in making career decisions, including investments in continuing education.

Businesses could make greater use of this solution, given existing recruiting problems in certain areas and the fact that workforce ageing could exacerbate the difficulties in the future. An increasing role of the committees is to promote improvements in the organisation of work and better use of labour. Activities include sharing of best practices, thematic comparisons and pooled development of training.

Source: OECD (2016b), “Montréal : Métropole de talent – Pistes d’action pour améliorer l’emploi, l’innovation et les compétences”, OECD LEED Working Paper, available at

Being inclusive

Recommendation: Launch a youth employment strategy at the national level and identify innovative local approaches, which could be adapted in other regions of Turkey.

This report has highlighted the significant labour market challenges faced by youth in Turkey. Among OECD countries, Turkey has the highest youth unemployment rate; in addition, there is a significant number of youth who are NEETs (i.e. not in education, employment of training). Many youth in Turkey are low-skilled individuals, which impacts their probability of labour market success.

The government should launch a youth employment strategy, which would aim to reduce the overall unemployment rate among youth while also ensuring that they are given greater access to education and skills development opportunities. In particular, it is important to better link youth to apprenticeships, internships and other work-based learning opportunities, which will enable them to develop a balanced mix of generic and occupational-specific skills. As part of this process, it would be important to engage local employers to understand the potential disconnect between their hiring expectations and the aspirations of youth. Long periods of unemployment for youth have been shown to have potential “scarring” effects, which have a harmful impact in later life, particularly for NEET youth. It can lower future income levels, skills validity, future employability, job satisfaction, happiness and health levels.

Ensuring employment success for young people is a policy issue of particular relevance locally. Barriers preventing young people from successful transition into employment are often multifaceted in nature and responses need to come from a wide array of policy areas. It is at the local level that government policies can be integrated and combined with place-based initiatives to provide multidimensional responses to complex problems. Yet, in practice, programmes are too often delivered in isolation from each other, with uneven degrees of coverage and limited capacity to reach out to the most in need. Rigid policy delivery frameworks, insufficient capacities and a lack of strategic approach at the local level are often the reasons that undermine support for youth.

Turkey can look at approaches that have been taken in other OECD countries at the local level. Reliable data is a prerequisite for effective policy design. However, many localities in Turkey are confronted with serious challenges when compiling data to diagnose the nature of youth unemployment locally.

Box 4.6 provides an international example of a youth employment strategy that was introduced in Glasgow, Scotland. It demonstrates the importance of designing a performance management system that better connects stakeholders at the local level. In Brandenburg, Germany, there is continuous monitoring of the supply and demand of skills, as a result of discussions with local companies and schools. This monitoring informs local strategies and action plans, which are developed on the ground between the different relevant actors. The monitoring also includes forecasting of the supply of students graduating from schools over the next 10-15 years.

Box 4.6. Youth unemployment: Tackling fragmentation in Glasgow, United Kingdom

The city of Glasgow has re-engineered its approach to supporting youth employability since the mid-2000s; and since the recession hit, NEET figures have not risen dramatically compared to Scottish and UK benchmarks. It is believed that one contributing factor to this effect is the shift from supporting individual projects to one where the emphasis is on improving the entire ecology of interventions available and joining these up. This has included establishing clear leadership responsibility in an area that has traditionally been “everyone’s problem but no one’s in particular”, introducing shared targets for the city, establishing a Youth Gateway model to promote information sharing and joint service commissioning, and embedding schools into the partnership model.

Young unemployed people were commonly in a “revolving door”, between publicly funded projects, which rarely led to positive outcomes. Steps taken to address this have included action to promote improved joint working and bringing in a tracking system. A number of changes to promote genuine collaboration have also been introduced, including establishing a Service Level Agreement in 2009 outlining the roles and responsibilities of all key players and the introduction of youth employability groups to monitor progress on the ground – each chaired by a head teacher. Addressing structural difficulties at the departmental level is a long-term goal. Under the banner of Glasgow Works, a co-commissioning model was piloted where funders have adopted a more transparent approach to financing interventions.

Source: OECD (2013), Local Strategies for Youth Unemployment: Learning from Practice, OECD Publishing, Paris,

Recommendation: Urgently focus labour market integration efforts to build inclusive growth and target place-based initiatives to migrants.

Going forward, there are a number of groups in Turkey that face significant labour market challenges which prevent them from finding and sustaining employment. In particular, Turkey is at the forefront of the migration crisis with a significant number of Syrians in the country. There is an opportunity for Turkey play a leadership role in managing the migration crisis through place-based programmes for migrants. However, this requires more effective and comprehensive actions to ensure that migrants receive adequate counselling and support to integrate them in the labour market. Currently, a comprehensive strategy has not been introduced within the employment services. During the OECD study visit, it was noted that the government is developing plans to support migrants in Turkey. However, no specific actions or programmes were observed in either Kocaeli or Trabzon. This process should be urgently expedited and İŞKUR should be at the forefront of delivering employment programmes and social services to these individuals.

Local governments have a critical role to play in working with migrants to develop concrete and innovative programme responses. In Turkey, the national government can play a facilitation role by working with the provinces to identify “what works” and share information among provinces in assisting and helping these groups find sustainable employment. There is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy, which will effectively solve this situation. In this policy area, partnerships are a critical tool to leverage the knowledge, expertise and programme tools of each local player to ensure that they are working towards a common vision for the community. OECD work in this policy area demonstrates that activation and integration services should be provided as soon as possible, and that the integration of poorly educated migrants requires long-term training and support (OECD, 2016a).

While the situation in Turkey is unique in terms of the mass numbers of migrants as well as their demographic and skills profile, Turkey can look at other OECD countries, where local governments have been developing a number of activities to support migrants to achieve labour market success. Box 4.7 provides an example from Italy, which has a national System of Protection for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR).

Box 4.7. OECD example: Integrating vulnerable migrants

The national System of Protection for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR) established by the Italian Ministry of Interior is managed by the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI) and implemented by municipalities. Third sector organisations also play a prominent role in project delivery.

The municipalities volunteer to participate in SPRAR projects through an annual call. The municipalities can apply to the National Fund for asylum policies and services to develop and implement projects for “integrated reception”. Activities associated with “integrated reception” include the initial provision of accommodation and meals, information provision, language courses, access to local services (e.g. social and health assistance), adult education, access to schools for minors, further legal guidance, customised support into employment, self-employment and business creation. The essential features of SPRAR approach are as follows:

  • A multi-level governance perspective with strong co-ordination between the Ministry of Interior and the National Association of Italian Municipalities;

  • The decentralisation of “integrated reception” activities;

  • Nationally funded reception projects, which include volunteer service delivery organisations;

  • The prominent role played by the third sector in project implementation;

  • The promotion and development of local networks involving a wide array of actors and stakeholders to ensure the success of reception, protection and inclusion measures.

Source: OECD (2017b, forthcoming), The integration of vulnerable migrants in small town villages: The case of Italy, OECD Publishing, Paris.


OECD (2017a, forthcoming), Engaging employers in apprenticeship opportunities at the local level, OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2017b, forthcoming), The integration of vulnerable migrants in small town villages: The case of Italy, OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2016a), Making Integration Work: Refugees and others in need of protection, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2016b), “Montréal : Métropole de talent – Pistes d’action pour améliorer l’emploi, l’innovation et les compétences”, OECD LEED Working Paper, available at

OECD (2014a), Employment and Skills Strategies in the United States, OECD Reviews on Local Job Creation, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2014b), Employment and Skills Strategies in Canada, OECD Reviews on Local Job Creation, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2014c), Employment and Skills Strategies in Korea, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2014d), Job Creation and Local Economic Development, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2013), Local Strategies for Youth Unemployment: Learning from Practice, OECD Publishing, Paris, FINAL.pdf.