WE ARE STRONGER UNITED
Kragujevac: According to the representatives of the project’s local partners in Kragujevac – Business Innovation Programs (BIP) and Business Development Centre (RBC), a great interest for the participation in the second cycle of the “Education to Employment“ programme was shown both by young people and employers in the city of Kragujevac and in Šumadija municipalities.
The second cycle of on-the-job training will include more young people that the first cycle did, at least 200 of them, and more employers – 30 to 40. Besides in Kragujevac, training will also be organised in the municipalities of Šumadija County. Young people who can apply to take part in the training include those who are jobless, who are actively searching for a job and who are ready to undergo the training. Age limit for the trainees is 30, and, for the less employable categories – 35 years of age.
The new training cycle will, in the category of less employable persons, besides women who are victims of domestic violence and the young people including in the fostering system, also cover young people from rural areas, single parents – mother or father, social welfare recipients, Roma, and young people who have been jobless for more than a year.
New training cycle – new chance
The following, the second cycle is also expected to produce good results. The goal is to, upon the conclusion of training, at least a half of the total number of trainees finds a job immediately with the employer – as a result of the on-the-job training, and later also with other companies.
Notably, after the first training cycle, 68 out of 176 trainees in Kragujevac found a job immediately, and further 60 found a job within six months of the training.
Many different ‘channels’ are available for the information of young people about the new cycle, such as social media, websites, conventional media, the Info Day, the National Employment Service, etc.
“The interest of employers is also quite high. They want to take part in training of young people in accordance with the needs of specific job positions. We hear from the employers from the machine industry and automotive industry, service sector, wood processing industry, and printing sector“, Nemanja Jovičić, Project Coordinator in the Business Development Centre (RBC), said.
According to him, the new cycle of the programme in Kragujevac and Šumadija municipalities will place a greater focus on craftsmen profiles and the training of the young people who have finished secondary schools, considering the prevailing opinion is that they encounter more difficulties with regard to employment than those who are university graduates.
Through the Education to Employment project young people can be provided comprehensive support, from career counselling and guidance to specific training and employment opportunities with which they resolve their problems with earning a living.
“It is our greatest satisfaction to see that hundreds of young people undergo our programmes and find employment. On the other hand, we see satisfied employers who have solved the problem of work positions for which they were not able to find competent employees. Our role is to connect different market actors and fill out the gap by solving the problem of the deficit of specific competences of young people that are required by the employers“, Nemanja said.
Good references for the partnership in the “E2E“
The teams of local partners in Kragujevac are ready for the new challenges in the second cycle of the training in accordance with the “Education to Employment“ programme. Business Innovation Programs (BIP) and Business Development Centre (RBC) have been working together since the beginning of 2016 and the preliminary phase of this programme started.
“We were chosen as local partners due to our long-term experience in the area of youth employment. We have been involved in similar projects before and our results were good. This was recognised by IP Consult who is implementing this programme at national level. BIP’s major reference for entering the project was the students’ entrepreneurship programme, implemented in the period 2006 – 2014, which covered more than 200 secondary schools and more than 6,000 secondary school students. A combination of experience and good references in BIP and RBC is what introduced us to the Education to Employment programme,” Marijana Simić, Project Coordinator in Business Innovation Programs (BIP), said.
Business Development Centre in Kragujevac has been for years working on the youth employment programmes and that is their “entry reference” for inclusion in the implementation of the “Education to Employment“ project in Kragujevac.
RBC implemented training intended to refresh professional skills of young people, in a combination with on-the-job training. In cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the training was implemented in the area of ICT, and in cooperation with the employers, with the support of the Government of Serbia’s Team for Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion the training, and practical training were organised within the metal-processing industry, or mechanic industry.
Youth Employment Forum
Within the “Education to Employment“ project, cooperation between the BIP and the RBC grew into a strategic partnership.
“In order to strengthen our capacity for the implementation of the Education to Employment project, we joined together and established the Youth Employment Forum, which Is our informal consortium that was established for the purpose of the E2E project implementation. Within it we have defined our partnership and our common mission in the territory of Kragujevac and Šumadija County”, Marijana said.
Through this project, existing services have been improved and new services have been introduced, and a larger number of young people is covered.
A new service is career counselling, for example. It is an essential component of the Education to Employment project. For this kind of services, the ones in which they were not involved before, BIP and RBC had to build their capacity.
Marijana highlights that career counselling is implemented in accordance with a Swiss methodology that is tailored to suit the local needs.
“We have group and individual career counselling for young people. Through a series of meetings and talks with young people, we help them decide what is best for their future. People coming to us include secondary school students, university students, and jobless young people. School students come asking whether they should continue their education or find a job after they finish school, they want to learn more about the vocational profile for which they are being schooled, while young people without a job contemplate retraining.“
A number of young people who come for career counselling is offered on-the-job training under the “Education to Employment“ programme.
A Swiss model in local environment
Partners say that the “Education to Employment“ programme have brought a novelty in terms of applying a new methodology in the preparation of the on-the-job training intended for retraining or additional training of jobless youth.
Nemanja stresses that so-called SKA analysis was used for the first time. It helps develop the programmes to suit specific needs of the employers.
“It is about the analysis of skills, knowledge, and attitudes which an employee should possess to be able to respond to the employer’s requirements for a profile in question.“
He explained that the Swiss model of on-the-job training within the “Education to Employment“ programme is tailored to suit local environment.
“When you prepare “E2E“ training, it is essential to have cooperation with employers: they create jobs and we get the info about the market needs.“
In the first cycle of the “E2E“on-the-job training for youth, 21 Kragujevac employers were included and twice as many interested companies are expected in the second cycle.
Text: Gordana Mirović Editor: Sandra Vlatković