In Turkey, the Mineral Exporters’ Associations offer scholarships to encourage young people to study their subjects

Internet ceremony for signing the protocol: (clockwise from top left to bottom right): Aydın DİNÇER (Chairman of the board İMİB), Mustafa VARANK (Minister of industry and technology), Prof. Dr. Yekta SARAÇ (President of YÖK).

The industry has a shortage of qualified professionals and does not have the very best reputation / IMIB design competition again

The Turkish Mineral Exporters’ Associations (IMIB, EIB and BAİB) have concluded a cooperation agreement with the country’s Higher Education Board (YÖK). According to this agreement, students who choose to study mining engineering, geological engineering, and mineral processing can receive non-repayable scholarships. The money for this comes from the industry associations.

At the internet ceremony for signing the protocol, the Minister of Industry and Technology, Mustafa Varank, also gave a speech (see photo above).

The Turkish natural stone industry has a serious problem with skilled workers. While those in charge like to emphasize that the country has the largest marble reserves in the world, it was also stated at the signing ceremony that only very few young people were interested in courses of study in the extraction and processing of these mineral resources.

Internet ceremony for signing the protocol (upper row f.l.t.r): Jak ESKINAZI (Aegean Exporters Association’s Coordinator Chairman, EIB), Mevlüt KAYA (President of the Aegean Mineral Exporters' Association, EMIB).

In one of the speeches it was also mentioned that there have been serious accidents since 2012 and that therefore the reputation of the industry is not good.

Conversely, however, the natural stone industry is particularly important for Turkey’s exports.

The associations are now taking matters into their own hands with the new “scholarship project” (“burs projesi”).

The grants are distributed according to study success:
* Those students who have taken a corresponding subject and whose grades were among the 50,000 best will receive the national minimum wage of 2,104 TL (~ 300 US-$; ~ 275 €) per month for 9 months in the following academic year;
* those who have made it to the 50,001-65,000 places receive half the national minimum wage (also for 9 months).
* students on places 65.001-80.000 get one third of the minimum wage (also for 9 months).

Applications are submitted and processed by the industry associations.

 IMIB President Aydın Dinçer signing the protocol.

Firstly, they hope that this will help them to get more enrolments in the courses of study that are important for them. Secondly, they want to improve the level of qualifications in their companies and thus also achieve compliance with safety regulations.

That is why there is another special feature, namely the program “7 + 1”: here the students spend seven semesters at the university and spend the last six months in a company.

The program also aims to bring the learning material of the universities closer to the know-how required in the companies.

In his speech, the Industry Minister praised the initiative of the associations. He referred to a similar program which the textile industry has already launched and which, according to him, is running very successfully. He also hopes that such initiatives will help reduce the high youth unemployment in the country.

Poster of this year’s design competition.

Design Competition

The IMIB association is organizing another quality initiative for the 9th time this year: It is the annual design competition, in which students and young professionals are to design everyday projects in Turkish natural stone. The aim is to find new uses for the material and give the stones added value through design.

The characteristic and special feature is that ideas for saleable products are desired, not artistic experiments.

The submission deadline for the current competition was in August. The award ceremony will again take place at Design Week Turkey in Istanbul. The categories are: Architecture, Urban Spaces, Decorative Products, Furniture, Fresh Approaches & Applications Living Spaces (Walls, Floors), Kitchen & Bathroom, and Public Statues.

In recent years, the prize money has been lavish.

Photos: IMIB

IMIB (Istanbul Mineral Exporters’ Association)

EIB (Aegean Exporters’ Associations)

BAİB (West Mediterranean Exporters’ Association)

(24.08.2020, USA: 08.24.2020)