Vehbi Koç Foundation Encyclopedia use cookies to give you the best experience. If you confirm, you will accept the use of cookies. Click for detailed information on the use of cookies.

Vocational Education: A Crucial Matter for the Nation (MLMM) Project

Vocational Education: A Crucial Matter for the Nation (MLMM) Project

Vocational Education: A Crucial Matter for the Nation (MLMM) Project

Vocational Education: A Crucial Matter for the Nation (MLMM) Project, MESLEK LİSESİ MEMLEKET MESELESİ (MLMM), initiated by Koç Holding on June 21, 2006 to mark the 80th anniversary of the company's founding with support from the Ministry of National Education and the Vehbi Koç Foundation(VKV).
The aims of the “Promotion of Vocational-Technical Education Program” are: “to support successful elementary school graduates with limited opportunities to attend vocational high schools that provide training to enter industry, IT and service sectors; and to provide internship opportunities to nurture qualified technical staff with the knowledge, skills and competencies required in the current economy.” The project aims to “create an awareness of the importance of vocational and technical education for the nation’s economy, sow the seeds of cooperation between the state and the business world, and incentivize young people to seek out vocational education.”

As part of the project, the VKV with the support of Koç Holding companies plans to support 8,000 vocational high school students for seven years with “internship scholarships” and by contributing to a variety of programs dedicated to their personal and professional development. Over time the project developed with a vocational school coaching system, development modules, and training labs, transforming into an overall "school-business collaboration" strategy which has become a model practice for bridging the gap between the educational and business worlds. Hundreds of employees from Koç Holding companies have worked on a volunteer basis with vocational high school administrators in their local areas to allocate scholarships through the program. Later on they provided personal and professional development coaching to the scholarship winners.

As a part of the project, students who choose a career path in a related field are given the opportunity to do an internship at Koç Holding companies paired with their schools. Those who are successful are given priority in their job applications to Koç Holding companies.

Tüpraş, Migros, Tofaş, Otokoç and Ford Otosan have established school labs to provide additional support in specialized fields. Tofaş and Ford Otosan, in particular, aim to find employees through their pre-employment training programs for middle school, high school, and industrial vocational high schools. 

Micro-projects run by some Koç Holding companies also aim to improve the professional skills of young people, increase their employability and fill the gaps in areas where there are skills shortages.

Examples of Vocational Education Project micro-projects carried out by Koç Holding companies:

Arçelik AŞ: Domestic Electrical Appliances Technical Training Program
Türk Traktör: Agricultural Machinery Training Program
Ford Otosan: İnönü Ford Cargo Technical Training Program
Otokar: Welding Training Workshop
Tüpraş: Opening of the Machinery Technology Site at the Körfez Technical and Industrial Vocational College
Aygaz: Life Workshop with Aygaz
Düzey: Target Vocational High School Students with Düzey
Koçtaş: I Love My Vocation: I’m Interning at Koçtaş

From 2008 to 2011, the project ran competitions for 10th grade scholarship students with the following themes: “I’m Successful, I’m a Vocational School Student” (2008), “Let’s Shape Our Future” (2009), “The Future of Vocational Education is Your Future!” (2010), “Do You Also Have Ideas About the Future of Vocational Education?” (2011). Scholarship students could enter the competitions with academic essays, presentations or visual designs and the 20 winners were invited to the Koç University campus in Istanbul during the summer for a week-long personalized education and tour program.

As part of the program, which drew attention for its implementation of a "positive discrimination" policy towards female students, 21 Koç Holding companies in different capacities and sectors and over 500 employees volunteered to work with the 8,000 vocational school students from 264 vocational schools.
Once the scholarship targets were met, from 2010 onwards the project entered a new stage, aiming to mobilize different stakeholders by  developing a comprehensive model for sharing experiences at corporate, sectoral and national levels. The “Collaboration for Quality in Vocational Education” project began on December 20, 2010, to disseminate the experiences and achievements of the project and improve the quality of vocational training throughout the country. Implemented in partnership with the Education Reform Initiative (ERG), the project aimed to stimulate necessary policy changes through interactive participation. After its completion in 2012, a summary document, “Quality Strategy in Vocational and Technical Education” and much of the research was shared with the public.

In 2011, the Koç Holding companies’ employee volunteer project, “Vocational High School Mentors,” was chosen as Europe's best volunteer program. In the following year, in order to ensure the continuity of the “Vocational Education” program's vision, it was transferred to the Turkish business sector under the leadership of the Private Sector Volunteers Association (ÖSGD). In addition to supporting the vocational personal development of high school students, the program also cultivated the volunteering spirit among employees. From 2012 to 2017, 53 ÖSGD member businesses and about 1,100 volunteers participated in the project, which reached 8,000 students in 101 vocational schools across 14 cities, provided internships to 612 students and employment to 27. In 2013, the film and book Bizim Hikâyemiz (Our Stories) were produced to narrate the story of the Vocational Education: A Crucial Matter for the Nation Project from its beginnings. In the book, all the participating stakeholders, school teachers, students, Koç Holding businesses, and VKV employees present their experiences of the project before and after its implementation.

The Program for Developing School-Business Partnerships that emerged from “Collaboration for Quality in Vocational Education” was implemented from 2015 onwards.

Abadan Unat, Nermin

Political scientist who received the Vehbi Koç Award for education in 2012.