Turkey: Skill Gap Well Above Global Average, Survey Finds

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By Jenny David

June 26—Although the percentage of Turkish firms reporting a shortage of qualified job candidates dropped from 63 percent in 2014 to 52 percent in 2015, the country's skill deficit is still well above the 38 percent global average, according to a recently released study by the U.S.-based ManpowerGroup workforce solutions company.

“The primary reason Turkey's skill deficit figure is higher than the global average is the absence of a national human resources policy and thus the absence of effective planning,” Manpower Turkey General Manager Reha Hatipolu said in a June 5 statement. Predicting that “it doesn't seem like the skill deficit gap will be closed any time soon,” Hatipolu said that “managers need to draw from different demographics in order to reach different skill sets.”

“Rather than attempting to hire perfect employees, they should focus on candidates who are open to learning and training,” Hatipolu added, noting that only 10 percent of Turkish employers seek personnel among the general population and “surprisingly, only 3 percent are looking at young talent.”

Turkey ‘Should Invest in Its Human Capital'

A separate study conducted by Bahçeehir University's Center for Economic and Social Research highlighted the youth employment problem in its finding that 15.2 percent of Turkish youth—about 73 percent of them women—are neither studying nor employed.

Women most commonly said they were too busy with housework, children and care for the elderly to seek jobs. Men most commonly reported little hope of finding employment.

“If Turkey wants to escape the middle-income trap, it should invest in its human capital: Turkish youth,” the report said. “It should appeal to young people who are not in school to seek an education as soon as possible.”

The 15- to 19-year-old bracket comprises one of Turkey's largest age groups at 8.4 percent of the total population, according to the latest census carried out by the Turkish Statistics Institute.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jenny David in Jerusalem at correspondents@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at rvollmar@bna.com

The full ManpowerGroup survey is available at http://www.manpowergroup.com/wps/wcm/connect/408f7067-ba9c-4c98-b0ec-dca74403a802/2015_Talent_Shortage_Survey-lo_res.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&ContentCache=NONE.

For more information on Turkish HR law and regulation, see the Turkey primer.