In order to build qualified workforce that will contribute positively to Türkiye’s foreign trade performance, a protocol titled as "Training Cooperation Protocol on the Development of Foreign Trade" was signed by the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of National Education on October 22, 2019. This Protocol is one of the important attempts of developing vocational education on foreign trade.
In the first stage, 6 schools in Gaziantep, İstanbul, İzmir and Mersin were selected as pilot. The Protocol includes studies on providing qualified education, scholarships, internships and employment opportunities to students studying in the Foreign Trade branch of the Accounting and Finance departments of selected high schools. The Protocol also covers the provision of in-service training to teachers in these schools. Contributing to the revision of the curriculum and upgrading educational materials are also within the scope of the Protocol.
As it is known, foreign language is of vital importance in foreign trade, especially in the realization of export transactions, in finding new markets and customers, and in maintaining commercial relations with existing customers. While English is a compulsory language in selected schools, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese or Russian are also taught additionally within the scope of the Protocol. The Protocol also ensures carrying out skills training and internship practices in real service and production environments. In-service training activities for teachers are planned to be carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of National Education.
With the Protocol, it is aimed to meet exporter companies' needs of well-trained foreign trade personnel equipped with an additional foreign language besides good level of English. Students will be provided internship opportunities in companies affiliated to the relevant Exporters' Associations and their easy induction to business life will be ensured. Some of these students will have a chance to be employed by the companies after graduation.
On February 11-13, 2020 "Updating the Curriculum" workshop was carried out in Ankara under the name of "New Generation Foreign Trade Vocational High Schools Curriculum Workshop" with the participation of representatives of Ministry of Trade, Ministry of National Education, Export Credit Bank of Türkiye (EXIMBANK), Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), Exporters’ Associations, The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB), Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD), other relevant non-governmental organizations, academicians and representatives of leading exporters. In the workshop, the opinions and suggestions of the participants regarding both the curriculum and the structure of the schools were elaborated. The curriculum has been updated in line with thorough analysis of the workshop results.
Each school within the scope of the Protocol was paired with an Exporters' Association (İİB, İTKİB, İMMİB, EİB, AKİB, GAİB). Scholarship, internship and prospective employment activities will be carried out by these associations according to the Protocol. In this context, "Training Cooperation Sub-Protocols for the Development of Foreign Trade" were signed between TIM and these associations. Scholarships have been granted to students in pilot schools and in-service trainings have started.