Regional, rural and urban development

Conference: Innovation in skills development for SMEs competitiveness (Ankara, Turkey)


14 December 2012
Small and Medium Size Enterprises Development Organisation, Ankara, Turkey

Jointly organised by KOSGEB (the Small and Medium Size Enterprises Development Organisation) and
OECD LEED Programme


Why attend / Who should attend / Where / Contact



Why attend

Innovation in skills development provides new ways of talent development for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). While SMEs are crucial for economic development, employment and job creation they face continuing barriers to developing their human resources. Training & skills development is significantly lower in SMEs than in large enterprises – with SMEs involved in up to 50% less training than larger firms. The pool of SME workers requiring further education and training is significant. However, SMEs often find it difficult to support formal learning activities due to their small size.

This conference presented the results of a project on Leveraging Training and Skills Development in SMES. The study examines access to training by SMEs across seven regions in six OECD countries. The seven regions participating in the project are East Flanders (Belgium), the industrial zone OSTIM in Ankara (Turkey), Canterbury (New Zealand), the Zaglebie sub-region (Poland), the West Midlands region (United Kingdom), and Quebec and Manitoba in Canada. The project contributed to the OECD Skills Strategy.

Key policy and research issues addressed at the conference included:

  • SMEs use both formal and informal training but they get better outcomes from informal training through use of knowledge intensive service activities (KISA). Significant variations exist across regions and employee skill levels.
  • Training for highly skilled employees focused on productivity-enhancing skills (e.g. technical and management skills, entrepreneurship), and, to the extent that they are undertaken at all, green skills. This applies to both manufacturing and service firms.
  • Market forces are the main drivers for skills development in firms, particularly informal skills development. They result from in-house demands arising from product development or production needs, or as the result of financial adjustments.
  • “Growth potential” SMEs are most likely to take up opportunities in the green economy. Highly innovative firms are more likely to participate in innovative activity for the “green” economy, and also have a stronger focus on entrepreneurial skills.

Download the agenda.


Who should attend

  • Representatives from stakeholders in the area: policy-makers, public institutions, private organizations, business representatives, SMEs, social partners (Trade Unions), non-government organizations, universities, training providers, and regional clusters and networks.
  • Representatives from firms, particularly those with responsibility for human resources and innovation.
  • Training, skills and employment development experts from local organisations and industry.
  • Academics and experts on training, skills development, human capital development, local development, private sector development and local governance.



Small and Medium Size Enterprises Development Organisation (KOSGEB), Ankara, Turkey.



Fatih Buyukfidan
SME Expert in Regional and Local Development Directorate in KOSGEB (Small and Medium Size Enterprises Development Organisation)
Ankara, TURKEY
Tel.: +90 (312) 595 27 23

Sirin Elci
Technopolis  Turkey
Ankara, TURKEY
Tel: +90 (312) 299 20 77

121213 Turkey conference baner partners

For further information about the OECD LEED project, please contact Cristina Martinez-Fernandez at the OECD Secretariat.