Turkish Labour Market: Insights on Employer Expectations



In early November, amfori has organised a forum with the collaboration of MUDEM (Refugee Support Center) on "Integration of Asylum Seekers and Migrants into the Turkish Labor Market: Needs and Expectations of Employers".

Representatives from various Turkish government agencies, local NGOs and producers from several sectors participated in the meeting.

Main takeaways

During the roundtable different stages of the recruitment were discussed: before and during recruitment as well as needs and expectations. A detailed report with statistical data will be available in end-November.

Before Recruitment

Employers have some concerns about:

  • recruiting refugees since they are in touch with each other and sometimes hear about negative impressions
  • the challenges of getting a work permit and in touch with related agencies as well as banks
  • the problems with Syrians like language, different cultural behaviours
  • accessing criminal reports about the potential workers (In Turkey, it is customary to ask for a criminal report at the time of recruitment.)
  • registering for social insurance (Since refugees get aid from red crescent monthly, once they are registered their aids are cancelled.) 

During Recruitment

Other concerns include:

  • an integration problem between the Turkish and Syrians
  • the hiring situation can be viewed as a means to gain prestige rather than social responsibility (Each brand develops new projects and wants the employers to be a partner of that project and employ refugees. Sometimes, producers are forced to participate.)
  • high demands and requirements even though brands would like to employ refugees

Needs and Expectations

amfori, MUDEM, and Turkish officials put together a list of needs and expectations:

The producers want government to shorten the application process for work permit or at least provide temporary work permit not to lose workers in that period since 2 or 3 weeks are still important for workers. 

The producers think that the aid should be cancelled because the refugees do not want to work with social insurance, they prefer to work illegally. 

Incentive programmes should be introduced more frequently and be more user-friendly. (For example, some incentive letters or kits prepared by International Labour Organization (ILO) are too long and the producers do not read them.)

Other resources

Kalkınma Atölyesi, a local NGO, published recent reports are about on:

In English:

In Turkish:

The reports were prepared within the scope of Programme on Elimination of Child Labour being implemented by Development Workshop Cooperative with financial support of UNICEF Turkey.

Related documents

amfori previously provided members with technical documents dealing with these labour issues: