UNICEF Business Advisory Board in Turkey Convenes for the Second Time
12 January 2022 – UNICEF Turkey Business Advisory Board convened for the second time on January 12, 2022, to discuss future priorities and concrete partnership opportunities that have emerged based on the guidance received from the Board during the inaugural meeting in June 2021. As a direct outcome of the first meeting and the followed bilateral exchanges concrete areas for collaborations were identified in the areas of 1) reimagining education and skills and linking them to the post COVID needs, 2) minimizing the digital divide, 3) supporting skills, entrepreneurship and empowerment of girls, 4) focusing on social cohesion by reaching the most vulnerable and achieve impact at scale and 5) addressing the environmental challenges and “green” skills gap in Turkey. These initiatives are contributing to reach the collective target of the Advisory Board: ensuring access to skills development for learning, personal development, active citizenship and employability of 2 million young people and providing 20,000 of them with concrete opportunities to successfully transition from school to work.
Since the launch of the Board, more than 640 thousand children were already reached by UNICEF’s various programmes and partnerships implemented jointly with the Government of Turkey, non-governmental partners and private sector in the areas of education, innovation, robotics and life skills. The meeting was hosted by Regina De Dominicis, UNICEF Representative to Turkey, with the presence of the Board Members, including Youth Representatives from the Global Generation Unlimited Initiative (GenU) Secretariat, Turkish National Committee for UNICEF and senior management representatives from CarrefourSA, DELL, Doğan Holding, Esas Holding, Endeavor Turkey, Garanti BBVA, Microsoft, Sabancı Holding, SAP, TOBB, Turkcell, TUSIAD and Unilever.
During the 2nd meeting, the Board Members provided advice and steer on the new plans and aligned over concrete collaboration opportunities including the launch in 2022 of a joint National Skills Pledge aiming at strengthening the linkages between vocational education and employability. The Skill Pledge will rally business leaders to make tangible commitments such as more offering apprenticeship places and amplifying these efforts through a joint media campaign.
There was also a commitment from some of the Board members to contribute to the work of UNICEF supported youth centres in the Southeast of Turkey, trough mentorship programmes, in kind IT support and crowdfunding opportunities, in line with young people representatives’ requests. A joint field visit will be carried out to selected youth centers in Kilis, Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa provinces during the first quarter of 2022. The next Board meeting will focus on the greening skills agenda.
About the UNICEF Turkey Business Advisory Board:
The UNICEF Turkey Business Advisory Board is a high-level advisory body comprised of private sector entities with inclusion of selected leaders from multi-lateral organizations, as well as young people themselves that will provide strategic direction and guidance to promote the objectives and planned results of GenU Turkey, as well as other areas of strategic importance to child rights. The Advisory Board in its first years of work will leverage the breadth of practical experience and technical expertise available in Turkey, connect stakeholders with interest and capacity to support the skills development, employment, and empowerment of young people at-scale, and mobilize and enable collaboration and contributions to the GenU goals in Turkey. Current Board members were selected based on scale and regional distribution of companies, commitments to equity and gender empowerment, and past experiences with corporate social responsibility activities and sustainability projects.