Companies are having dire problems finding semi-skilled or even unskilled workers, according to Gürsel Baran, the president of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO).
Employers invest millions of Turkish Liras in plants and other facilities but still cannot find workers to hire, Baran said, adding that finding semi-skilled workers,in particular, has become the most pressing issue for companies.
“There are concerns that robots will replace workers, but what we are experiencing now is quite different: We cannot find semi-skilled or even unskilled workers. This adversely affects our country’s production potential.”
Baran linked the problem to the wage difference between the public and private sectors, noting that higher pay in public jobs lures workers.
The effects of the COVID pandemic are still being felt, while competition has become tougher with digitalization, and all this depresss the profitability of private companies, he said.
“Wages offered by the private sector that operate with low profitability are well behind the wages in the public sector. Wages demanded by potential employees are difficult to meet.”
Young people should be encouraged to go to vocational schools,Baran said.
“We have a large young population, but we are wasting this potential. Most of the young people are killing time at cafes.”
The unemployment rate ticked up from 9.5 percent in May to 9.6 percent in June to a total of 3.34 million, according to the latest available official data.
The unemployment rate among the country’s youth – aged between 15 and 24 – climbed from 17.4 percent to 18.6 percent in June.
The jobless rates among the country’s male youth increased from 14.5 percent to 15.4 percent, and it rose for the female youth from 22.7 percent to 24.2 percent.