Saturday, July 10, 2010

Really Impressed

I tend to listen to listen to BBC Turkish during my cardio workouts (in fact, I try to do my jogs and erging daily at 6pm to be able to listen to it). While I am generally impressed by their high quality programming, they managed to exceed their high standards with yesterday's piece on Turkish unemployment.

The whole thing was a few minutes long, but the expert they had found, Sayim Yorgun of Kocaeli University, really knew his shit. He managed to get into the core reasons behind Turkish unemployment in a couple of minutes. I am a skeptic by nature, so I am suspicious if I have not heard an economist's name before (sometimes, I am even more so precisely because I have heard them before). But I was pleasantly surprised yesterday. Yorgun made the following key points to get into the heart and soul of Turkish labor market woes:
  • The university system is not geared towards the needs of the private sector (loyal readers might know that I coordinated a huge World Bank project and wrote a 100-page report on this issue).
  • The vocational education system needs a major overhaul (another paper in the same World Bank project was on the MYOs- Vocational Higher Education schools; the project did not get into secondary education- I could not find the paper online, but email me if you'd like a copy).
  • The education system favors set knowledge over skills and individuality, spitting out an inflexible/unadaptable labor force.
Anyway, Muchos Kudos to Sayim Yorgun- and BBC for digging him out- I have no idea about his academic credentials, but his policy economics really impressed me. And Turkish business channel producers who like to favor Besiktas jersey (black suit-white shirt) and hair gel-toting market-economists: Maybe, you should listen to the BBC during your MAC/Hillside workouts as well- it is time you moved past the standard markets BS into deeper stuff.

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