Corporate Support

Mutlu Uğursal

With the increase in the number of universities in Turkey in recent years, we see that the rate of unemployment among new graduates is also rising. We must generate projects that will deliver results to rectify this situation. This is exactly what the First Chance Program does by supporting and creating equal opportunities for young people from ‘second-tier’ universities as they start their careers. The First Chance Program makes it possible for young people to be considered based on their potential and hired on equal footing rather than the conventional process where their school, department and grade point average are prioritized. Turkey needs programs like these to increase employment through access to qualified workforce, which in turn improves quality production. At Agito, we value the young generations’ contribution to the national economy and make investments to create equal opportunity for young people. We are very pleased to be a corporate supporter of the First Chance Program in 2020.

Pelin Akın Özalp

The First Chance Program, which supports young people who are just starting professional careers, prepares them for the future and gives them confidence, meeting a very important social need in this age of change. At Akfen, we see every project that fosters social responsibility awareness as an opportunity to contribute to social wealth and touch people’s lives. All young people that participate in the program create value for themselves, their environment and our country. Our approach, which we see as a priority and define as “Preparing young people for life by providing them with life skills to make a difference in the community and the world, and ensuring they contribute positively to communities,” forms the basis of our support for the program. The First Chance Program participants are talent with potential, more experience than their peers, higher awareness, and a stronger stance in work life and are ahead of the curve.

Bilgehan Yazıcı

The youth unemployment rate among university graduates is very high in Turkey. On the other hand, there are also employers that complain about not finding qualified workforce. First Chance Program built a smart bridge between supply and demand to connect employers and candidates. First Chance also made it clear to employers that young people are far more skilled and competent than the labels that their schools bring. And these young people showed us all what they could accomplish when we invested in them. In the events that brought us together with First Chance participants, I saw how motivated and open young people were to learning and development. Staying in contact with the four young people I mentored and seeing them advance in their careers motivates me to do more. Seeing the First Chance program mentioned in a résumé tells me that the candidate is ready to add value to life and our company with 21st century skills.

Hakan Ateş

At DenizBank, we believe that the value we add to people’s lives reflects on the community and creates sustainable social impact for our country. With this belief, we wholeheartedly support all initiatives that take it upon themselves to work for Turkey's future. The First Chance Program is a very valued initiative in that it raises awareness on a serious issue like unemployment of educated youth in Turkey and offers a permanent solution model. Giving young people a chance to gain their first work experience after graduating from university in NGOswhich create value for the community is really important in terms of enabling them to gain awareness through close contact with the realities of our country and helping their career development. I believe that the investment made in the young human resource with the First Chance Program and the multiplier effect created in NGOs will certainly pave the way to countless qualified jobs to fill the gaps in Turkey’s needs map. I see young people and civil society organizations as two key players of progress and democratic and social development, and we are proud to support this project, which plays a valuable role in empowering them.

İhsan Ateş

Ozan Diren

Social development is a very rational area of investment that all businesses should consider. A skilled and experienced community supports economic development. Making good use of the young professional workforce in our country is very important, especially when they are fresh out of university. The First Chance Program offers a solution to the educated youth unemployment problem, which is above 30 percent in Turkey. For young graduates to find a job at an early stage in their careers, to gain professional experience, to receive mentoring and other training programs all lend to a very valuable step toward developing their qualifications. With these features, the program gives young people a “first chance” and also brings many opportunities for the country’s economic and social development. So, I believe that the First Chance Program will add value to Turkey's social and economic development. Supporting, scaling and spreading the First Chance Program will benefit the society. This is why we are proud to be a supporter that contributes to the development of the program.

Begüm Doğan Faralyalı

As the world evolves rapidly with the Industry 4.0 revolution, automation, artificial intelligence and digital technologies, the dynamics of the business world are also significantly impacted. We are now in an era when employees are required to have diverse skills. Work experience was always an important criterion but today they need to gain experience more quickly and in a much shorter period of time. And something as important as work experience is to adopt an informed, conscious and responsible approach to the future of the world and humanity. First Chance is a very creative program that addresses both of these two important aspects while offering advantages to businesses and young university graduates. With the program, these young people find the opportunity to develop their 21st century skills as they gain a unique experience while working for NGOs that address various social issues. I believe that multidimensional young people who are aware that culture and values are as important as being well-equipped will be of much more benefit to society.

Kazım Köseoğlu

For organizations, equal opportunity constitutes the basis of sustainability in business. At Esas Real Estate, we apply an equitable, fair and performance-based organizational structure in our human resources practices. We act with the vision of offering equal opportunities to educated young people in their transition from school to professional life. First Chance supports university graduates to gain experience in civil society during this process. We consider youth unemployment a very serious issue. This is why we want to give young people the opportunity to shine. The young people that participate in the First Chance Program become well equipped in many areas while they are supported by executives from Turkey's leading companies and find the opportunity to expand their horizons in sessions with community leaders. Young people who add “First Chance” to their résumés leave a positive impression on me.

Ayşecan Özyeğin Oktay

I see the First Chance Program as a successful initiative that aims to serve as a melting pot for solving youth unemployment and meeting the human resource needs in civil society. A thoughtfully designed, functional personal development training and on-the-job learning approach makes this program a benchmark for the careers of young people. To me, seeing that a candidate’s résumé shows them as First Chance Program participant means that I will get to meet a young professional who has a good sense of personal interests and capabilities, is sensitive to social issues and ready to take on new responsibilities in different platforms. At FIBA Group, we invest in training programs and employment through our group companies, foundations and Özyeğin University, and give priority to offering equal opportunities to future generations. We are proud to see the support we extend contributes to the development of a generation that develops quickly and is highly motivated to produce and equipped with important skills even at the beginning of their professional careers.

Kaan Demirağ

Youth today can have a sense of desperation with the fear of being unemployed. As HD Holding continues to grow with more restaurants in more cities, we naturally employ more people because we know how important it is to offer new job opportunities for the youth. I was truly impressed by the fact that the First Chance Program aimed at eliminating opportunity inequalities for young university graduates, steered them to civil society organizations, provided training and mentoring support and helped them shape their future. I wanted to be a supporter of the First Chance Program for a number of reasons. It offers great opportunities to young people from cities with limited job options, and raises their awareness about the possibility of working for civil society organizations. The program also endows young people with a new perspective while the companies gain well-trained and self-confident young employees. The young people who are empowered by the First Chance Program will contribute to businesses and Turkey. This is why the First Chance Program stands apart as a very strong social responsibility project.

Kemal Cılız

Ali Kibar

The young population is our biggest hope in the 21st century. They are the assurance of the future of our society, tomorrow’s managers and executives, and the ones we should invest in and support today. Raising a qualified young population and employing them is crucial. Educated youth unemployment is a problem across the world and studies show that it will just keep growing. I believe that First Chance is a great program for our country and young people and that it will pave the way to several positive developments and eventually make a difference in the lives of hundreds and thousands of young people. At Kibar Group, we act with the principle of offering equal opportunity to all young people and students. As one of Turkey's leading industrial conglomerates, we felt responsible and decided to support the First Chance Program. Being a supporter of such a program makes us particularly proud.

Gülden Yılmaz

There are more than 200 universities in Turkey and every year thousands graduate, ready to step into professional life. However, it is not always easy to find a job right away and simply giving young people who are at the start of their careers a job is not enough either. The First Chance Program also offers training to develop 21st century skills enables young people to join the business world with experience. I find it important for each young person who is about to start working to have dreams about what he/she can do, to recognize his/her own potential as well as that of the industry and the country, and to take a step into the future with this knowledge. Seeing “First Chance” on a résumé tells me that the applicant worked for a civil society organization and therefore developed social consciousness, which is an important criterion that we look for in a candidate. At Koton, we contribute to projects with a focus on social benefit and supporting the young people who will shape our future is also part of this responsibility. This is why we are a supporter of the First Chance Program.

Emre Kurttepeli

As a country, we need a highly qualified workforce. The number of programs to eliminate opportunity inequalities that the young university graduates face in their transition to professional life is few in Turkey. This is why I find the First Chance Program very valuable for our country and young people as it prepares them as well-equipped candidates for professional life. In the First Chance Program, young graduates get ready to make a difference in the business world with the help of English language education, online Microsoft Office trainings and various seminars.  They are also supported by mentors from Turkey’s leading companies, and they expand their horizons during talks with community leaders. This program equips our young people with the skills they need and helps them build self-confidence. As a company operating in the technology sector, we see our human resource as our most important asset. In line with our human resources policy, we support young people as they prepare to start their professional careers and offer them opportunities. We see First Chance as a program that contributes to our shared future and we are happy to be a part of it.

Hasan Ulusoy

The First Chance Program is an important social investment in young people and employment in Turkey. It provides young people that we will entrust our future with a great opportunity to start their careers. It is a platform that supports young people to create benefits both for the society and themselves. The experience that new university graduates gain during their transition from school to work enables them to start their careers one step ahead. We regard supporting educated young people toward becoming a part of the community and business as an important corporate responsibility. This valuable initiative and its impact can only be sustained when organizations take ownership of the program. I believe that the young people who are given their first opportunity to work professionally through the First Chance Program will develop into individuals with a high sense of responsibility and belonging. I also find partnerships to bring these young people into organizations very valuable.

Mehmet Nane

Educated youth is the most important asset of our country. This is why the First Chance Program, developed to encourage youth employment and give young people an opportunity, is very valuable for our future. Supporting new graduates from second tier universities is also very meaningful. There are two very important reasons for us to be a corporate supporter of the First Chance Program. First, we all need to do something for young people because they are our future. Second, we need to make sure that our support will result in benefits for these young people in the best and most effective way. When I met with the First Chance participants, I shared my experiences and recommendations with them. They impressed me with their attitude, careful questions and comments. They are brilliant young people. Seeing the light and hope in their eyes is priceless.

Zeki Konukoğlu

Success is no coincidence: It requires hard work, responsibility, and most importantly, love and dedication. The First Chance Program brings together Anatolia's determined, hardworking, talented young people who are ready to work for their future, and prepares them for life. These valuable young people, armed with training and motivation, become representatives of doing good, both in NGOs and in their subsequent jobs, working with devotion and love and taking ownership in their organizations. Sanko Holding has been a corporate supporter of the First Chance Program since 2019, and we are happy to play a part in enabling the young people with potential and talent to have access to equal opportunity in the business world. I commend Şevket Sabancı and his children for their valuable contribution to the development of new graduates.

Özcan Tahincioğlu

Unemployment is a major issue both in Turkey and also around the world today. Additionally, unemployment among university graduates is much higher compared to those with lower education levels. However, there are also positive developments to solve this issue. The First Chance Program is a beacon of hope for young people. The program aims to reach young people who face obstacles in finding their first job and offers a new model to increase the educated employment rate. This creative model supports young people that experience opportunity inequalities as they step into the business world. The values of our company align with those of the First Chance Program, which helps young people gain the work skills and experience required after graduation. This is why we are a corporate supporter of the program.

Mahmut Levent Ünlü

Not everyone shares the same conditions at the starting point of their careers. However, determined and hardworking young people can create their own opportunities. There are some youth from Anatolian cities and towns who have been very successful. The First Chance Program participants are testament to this. First Chance is a unique program that operates with a win-win philosophy for young people, civil society organizations and, consequently, the community. In addition to supporting successful young people with equal opportunities and helping them unlock their potential, this multidimensional and inclusive program also contributes to the leading civil society organizations in Turkey. I believe that getting more organizations to support and spread the program will also drive positive results for the future of our country. At ÜNLÜ & Co, we have long supported young people via different platforms, and we keep personally witnessing what successful young people can do with some encouragement. First Chance is a program that delivers concrete results and we participated in it with great conviction.

Tijen Akdoğan Ünver

Equal opportunity is an important issue in all areas of life. I believe that it is also a strategic matter that organizations need to work on. We ensure that candidates are given equal opportunity in the recruitment process and support this wholeheartedly as a team. With its contributions to Turkey's young workforce and partnerships, the First Chance Program is a strategic step toward solving the unemployment problem among trained youth in Turkey. The First Chance Program offers job opportunities to new graduates of second tier universities and paves the way to a bright future. Unfortunately, most employers adopt a stereotypical approach and prefer graduates from top-tier universities. However this Program gives them an opportunity to enrich their workforce by employing these young people who constantly improve themselves and gain experience in civil society organizations. The participants who can take advantage of the opportunity can fully plan their career journeys.

Nuri Öztaşkın