Program for Developing School-Business Partnerships, a program dedicated to improving the quality of vocational education through collaboration between schools, the private sector and civil society groups. It is part of the Vocational Education: A Crucial Matter for the Nation Project (MLMM), a partnership enterprise of the Vehbi Koç Foundation (VKV), the Ministry of Education and Koç Holding companies. From 2015 to 2017, the project was managed by the Ministry of National Education, the Turkish Enterprise and Business Federation (TÜRKONFED), the Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TİSK) and the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), in partnership with the VKV, the Private Sector Volunteers Association (ÖSGD), the Education Reform Initiative (ERG), the Teachers Academy Foundation, the Turkish Employers Association of Metal Industries (MESS) Education Foundation. This program aims to expand the School-Business Partnerships Model developed during the MLMM Project.
The MLMM Project provides scholarships, internships, and volunteer coaching support according to the needs and facilities of schools and businesses partnered through the scheme. The assistance extends to improving educational infrastructure and materials to meet current technological standards through wide-ranging support for materials, curricula and laboratories. The scholarships, curricula, laboratories, internships, personal and professional development, and employment opportunities have over time formed a bridge between the worlds of education and industry. This was achieved by improving sector-based collaborative relationships between the private sector and vocational schools, which lay at the core of the “School-Business Partnership Model”.
The MLMM program aimed to increase both the number and quality of collaborations between business and vocational education institutions by setting up workshops and training sessions in different areas and regularly monitoring the subsequent collaborative partnerships. Participants in this work included chambers of industry and commerce, business associations, industrial parks, professional organizations, businesses, regional employment boards and vocational educational institutions. A pilot study involving about 70 representatives from businesses and vocational school institutions was carried out in Bandırma on November 27, 2014. Afterwards, school-business partnership workshops took place in the following locations: Eskişehir, hosted by the Eskişehir Industry and Business Association (ESİAD); Izmir, hosted by the Aegean Young Employers Association (EGİAD); and Bursa, hosted by the Bursa Industry and Business Association (BUSİAD). Each workshop was preceded by leadership training, facilitated by the MESS Education Foundation and given to the vocational and technical school administrators of the cities.
The MLMM School-Business Partnership Model was submitted to the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as a successful “exemplary practice” for youth employment and vocational education across the world.
In 2018, School-Business Partnership workshops were organized as part of the Full Support for Vocational Education (METAD) Project with the collaboration of the Ministry of Education, MESS and the MESS Education Foundation.