Pirot: Delegation of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Serbia visited Pirot
More than 50 percent of young people from the “Education to Employment” project got a job
Ursula Läubli, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Serbia, visited Pirot with her associates. There they were presented the results of employing young people in this town and in Knjaževac. The Swiss and Serbian Governments’ “Education to Employment“ programme is implemented in five towns, the two above mentioned towns including. The results that were presented show that, within previous year only, a half of all young people who attended the training within the programme have found a job.
Young people have the opportunity to take part in the “Education to Employment” programme which is supported by the Swiss Government with the aim to improve the economic development of Serbia and provide for faster employment.
Ursula Läubli, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Serbia, said that the project is primarily meant to support young people to increase their employability.
“We believed that it would be really beneficial for them to have this support and it is my great pleasure to see that they now have opportunity to undergo training for jobs in different companies,” Läubli said.
According to what she said, 300 young people in Pirot and Knjaževac had opportunity to use career counselling services, a hundred of them attended training in different companies for vocational profiles needed by the business sector, and as many as 60 of them got a job.
“This is about considerable and extensive efforts by all involved in this project. Switzerland is devoted to further provision of support to youth employment through the educational reform which implies the introduction of dual education. Since youth employment is a priority of the Serbian Government, it is our priority too. Therefore, in the coming period we will support the efforts of Serbia to establish losest possible cooperation between educational and business sector and thus pave a path to faster and larger employment,” the Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office said.
Main goal of the “Education to Employment” project is to raise the youth employability level through a model of mutual cooperation between local self-government, companies, schools, and NGOs. That is why it was really important that the representatives of all these sectors took part in the panel discussion in Pirot City Hall. They talked about the profiles which are scarce on the labour market and the problems regarding youth employment, as well as about the measures to support companies so as to raise employment.
On-the-job training is surely one of the most important measures. It is possible to implement it only thanks to the efforts of the project local partners: “Timočki klub” organisation in Knjaževac and ZIP Youth Centre and “Osveženje” citizens’ association in Pirot.
Mira Zlatkov, the representative of these Pirot associations said how pleased she was that the representatives of the Swiss Cooperation Agency, which is providing financial support to the “Education to Employment“ project, visited Pirot and learnt more about the activities and results in the implementation of the programme in this town.
The project has been implemented since 2016 in five towns in Serbia. The training in Pirot was implemented for six vocational profiles which are in deficit.
“Special funds have been allocated for raising the employability of less employable and vulnerable populations. In our case these included young Roma women who had no education at all or finished only primary school . eighty of them got some kind of support to acquire skills and knowledge demanded by the employers. The indicator of a job well done is that more than 50 percent of young people who completed the training got a job in the company in which they attended training or in other companies. There is no doubt that people who undergo this training have better chance to find employment“, Zlatkov said.
The representatives of Swiss delegation also visited local partners of the “Education to Employment“ programme in Pirot as well as companies in which young trainees will undergo training for some of the profiles in highest demand on the labour market – “JLB-Soulier” tool shop and “Stojanović” company.
Five towns, 22 projects
In the course of the first cycle of training 22 project were implemented, support on their journey to employment was provided to people younger than 30 who belong to less employable population – women victims of domestic violence, young people without parental care, young people from rural area, wards of correctional homes, young people with developmental disability, and the members of Roma community.
For the implementation of on-the-job training projects for jobs which local businessmen in five pilot towns – Kragujevac, Kruševac, Knjaževac, Novi Pazar, and Pirot – pointed out as being in deficit, the Swiss Government earmarked about EUR 400,000 in the first round of the “Opportunity“ Fund.
Further EUR 172,500 was earmarked for six programmes to support the employment of less employable young populations, and EUR 138,000 was allocated for the implementation of nine projects to test the innovative employment models in Serbia.
Testing of new employment methods takes place under the supervision of the Republic of Serbia’s Team for Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction in eight local communities – Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Rača, Pirot, Paraćin, Užice, and Sombor.
Text: Zoran Panić / editor: Sandra Vlatković