According to Article 3 of the Vocational Education Law No. 3308, a candidate apprentice in Turkey is a person who has not reached the age of starting apprenticeship in Turkey and who is introduced to the workplace environment and given preliminary information about the art and profession before the apprenticeship period, and an apprentice is a person who develops the knowledge, skills and work habits required by the profession in a professional field according to the principles of the apprenticeship in Turkey contract. According to Article 9 of the Law, the condition for becoming a candidate apprentice in Turkey is to have completed primary school. According to Article 10 of the Law, in order to become an apprentice, it is necessary to be a graduate of at least secondary school or imam hatip secondary school and to have the conditions to be suitable for the work required by the profession to be entered by the body and health condition.
Those who have reached the age of nineteen and have not undergone apprenticeship in Turkey training before can be taken into apprenticeship training according to vocational training programmes to be arranged in accordance with their age and education level.
According to Article 13, in the workplaces operating in the provinces and professions covered by the law, it is prohibited to employ persons who have not turned nineteen years of age in the provinces and professions to be determined by the Ministry of National Education without an apprenticeship contract in Turkey. However, this obligation shall not apply to graduates of formal education programmes of vocational and technical education schools and institutions and journeymen. Since a province and a profession are covered by Law No. 3309, it is seen that child labour is prohibited in that province and profession.
Before the workplace owner starts to employ the candidate apprentice and apprentice, a written apprenticeship contract in Turkey must be made with their parents or guardian or, if they are of legal age, with the apprentice himself/herself. If the apprentice in Turkey comes of age during the contract period, the apprenticeship will continue with the consent of the apprentice, and if the workplace owner changes, it will continue with the consent of the new workplace owner if the new workplace owner continues the same profession.
According to Article 11 of the Law, candidate apprentices and apprentices are accepted as students. Therefore, they will benefit from student rights. Additionally, they will not be included in the number of workers in the workplace.
According to Article 14 of the Law, the apprenticeship will start with a trial period in Turkey. This period cannot be less than one month or more than three months depending on the nature of the profession. This period will be determined by the ministry. If the parties do not apply to the relevant vocational training centre directorate within 10 days after the trial period, the apprenticeship contract will be finalized and this period will be counted from the apprenticeship period in Turkey. During the probationary period, wages will be paid and those who pass from candidate apprenticeship to apprenticeship will be deemed to have completed the probationary period.
As long as the apprentices receive vocational training in the workplaces, the following issues should be considered:
– In order to take apprentices, there must be a master instructor in the workplace.
– Apprentices should be given paid leave for general and vocational training provided that it is not less than 8 hours a week, and this should not be counted as a week holiday and the week holiday should be paid separately.
– In Turkey if the apprentice works on week holidays, national holidays and general holidays, he/she should be paid according to the principles of the Labour Law.
– Regarding overtime work, it can be said that it is not possible to overwork candidate apprentices and minors in the status of apprentices outside the daily training, education and practice periods in accordance with the mandatory provisions in regulations such as the General Hygiene Law and the Regulation on Overtime Work and Working for Excessive Periods Regarding the Labour Law.
– The wage to be paid and wage increases can be determined by the apprentice’s parent or guardian or, if the apprentice is a minor, by the apprentice himself/herself in Turkey. However, in any case, the wage should not be less than 30 per cent of the minimum wage appropriate to their age. This rate is determined as 50% for vocational education centre 12th grade students who have gained journeyman qualification.
– Candidate apprentices and apprentices should be given one month of paid leave every year, coinciding with the holiday months. It is also possible to give up to one month of unpaid leave to those whose excuses are accepted, taking the opinion of the school directorate.