Kragujevac: The line in front of the window in the NES branch in Kragujevac features jobseekers belonging to different age groups and different time periods in jobless status. They all share the same expectations, but it seems that younger ones are more optimistic that they will find a job.
Marijana Arsenijević (27) form Kragujevac has only eight years of school and she never had a job. She regularly reports to the NES but, as she said, “nothing came out of it”. Nobody called her with a job offer and she never attended any training that could increase her employment chances. But she still hopes. Svetomir Marković (20) from Kragujevac came to NES to be entered into the register of the unemployed. He finished the First Technical School and is now studying IT. He wishes for a job in programming and says that he would be glad to undergo relevant on-the-job training.
On that same day we also met young people who came to the NES to attend the training for beginners in business. They need the relevant knowledge so as to be able to apply for the funds to start their own business.
Aleksandra Petrović (30) is a paediatric nurse. She said that for eight years already she had not been able to find a job in her profession and so she decided to undergo a retraining programme. She plans to open her own beauty shop and intends to apply for self-employment funds. Sanja Milanović worked in a public institution as well as for a lawyer, but now she intends to open her own law office. She said that the NES training for beginners in business provided valuable information.
This was only a brief observation about the activities of young people registered as unemployed with NES in Kragujevac. And what about the statistics?
“The Bureau” registers unemployment rate below 20 percent
Compared with the period of four years ago, unemployment rate of persons younger than 30 fell from 23.8 to 19.5. This reduction was brought about by the new investors who came into town. It is now easier to get a job considering that employers need young people who are willing to learn,“ Director of the National Employment Service, Kragujevac branch, Gorica Bačanin said.
According to the data from January 2020, the total number of persons registered as unemployed in Kragujevac is 17,442 and the number of persons younger than 30 is 3,313 or 19.47. This number for Šumadija County is 5,362.
The Kragujevac NES staff emphasise that, regardless of constant inflow of newly-registered young people who are finishing school, the share of people under 30 years of age in total number of unemployed persons is persistently decreasing.
City of Kragujevac
Share of youth in the total number of unemployed
A specific characteristic of local labour market is that, in the past couple of years, most people who got a job are in the professions relating to mechanics and metal processing, trade, tourism, catering, economics, law, administration, and textile.
There was an increase in the employment rate of young people with mechanical education, but young personnel are in demand in catering and trade as well.
The past period of 3 or 4 years saw an increase in the employment rate of university graduates
“Pharmaceutical engineers can easily find a job and they are almost absent from the labour market. As a lot of privately-owned nursery schools are being opened, more nursery teachers and paediatric nurses are getting employment. Mechanical engineers and IT engineers are now getting a job more easily and electrical engineers are always in deficit,“ Director of Kragujevac branch of NES said.
Among the university graduates, a surplus of biologists and environmentalists is still present. As regards the philologists, German companies seek young people who speak German, but people who speak Turkish and Arabian are also in demand and we do not have any of them registered with us. Medical doctors have lately getting employed more easily and Kragujevac NES registers about 190 of them. Lawyers find it more difficult to get a job – contrary to their colleagues who have passed the bar examination – and they are more interested in self-employment, i.e. to open a law office of their own.
Training for the benefit of both jobseekers and employers
“More and more employers are encountering difficulties in obtaining suitable staff. By analysing the market, we have come to the conclusion that there is an increasing need for retraining and additional training that would enable people to acquire suitable knowledge and competences ,“ Bačanin said.
The training programme that NES organised in 2019 included 158 persons under 30 years of age from Kragujevac. The training organised to meet the labour market needs included 20 unemployed persons under 30 years of age. The training was organised for IT, CNC machine operators, foreign languages, bookkeepers, pedicurists and manicurists.
Persons younger than 30 were also organised training for active job search (573 participants). The number of persons completing training in the Job Search Club is 175. Also, training for motivation and mobilisation was organised for persons with skills and low-skilled persons and it was completed by 83 young people. The selection at the request of employers included 143 persons younger than 30, and more than 300 young people received information and counselling regarding the career development opportunities.
NEZ also supports and implements third parties’ training programmes
NSZ counsellors inform jobseekers about training within the “Education to Employment” project, about the types of training and public calls for training implementation, as well as about how to apply and application deadlines.
“We select and refer young people willing to undergo a retraining programme to on-the-job training within the “Education to Employment” programme. The goal of this training is to promote youth employment. Judging by the results made thus far, this goal is being achieved. Namely, more than 50 percent of trainees get employment in companies in which they attended training for profiles that are in demand,“ Director of Kragujevac NES said.
She explained that unemployed persons who are referred to training within the “Education to Employment” programme are previously selected based on the training eligibility requirements, demands of companies, and the profiles for which training is implemented.
“It is not only formal education that matters, but also the affinity that jobseekers have for specific professions. This was, for example, a case with E2E training for welders, locksmiths, and CNC operators, to which we did not refer only young people with mechanical education but also others who are willing to undergo retraining in order to find a job faster,“ Bačanin said.
Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković
Kragujevac: First training for the fitters of ALU and PVC windows and doors in Kragujevac
In “Sunce Marinković“company’s workshop, 26 years-old Bojan Milićević learns from the people who are most experienced in this job. He is one of the ten young trainees who are, within the “Education to Employment” programme, learning to become the fitters of ALU and PVC windows and doors.
Bojan’s wide smile unambiguously reveals how he feels about the training, how much he has learnt, and how he has accepted work discipline, fellow workers, etc.
“I’ve been in this training for a month and half. I am very satisfied and do not think anything is hard to do, or excessively arduous. I really found myself in this job and I am only too happy because of it. It is important to me to be of the impression that the instructors from Sunce Marinković, the ones from whom I am learning, are happy with how hard I try. I will continue to do my best until the training finishes because I know that this is my chance to get employed to do the job that is right for me.“
Workshops, construction site, repair shop
In the previous years, ever he finished a school for civil construction technician, Bojan has been doing his best to find a job. His diploma did not help him much because employers wanted only experienced workers in his profession. That is why he spent more than two years doing jobs in which he did not see his future.
“I learnt about the “Education to Employment” training at Sunce Marinković company’s website which I visit regularly looking for job vacancies. I saw the public call and this type of training attracted my interest. My attention was particularly drawn by the note that there is a possibility to employ the ones that produce best results.“
Bojan said that previously he had no contact whatsoever with the job of a fitter of ALU and PVC windows and doors. He added that only some tools looked familiar to him since he recognised them from earlier.
“Nothing looked too complicated to me. I settled down well and got everything quickly. Within this training I quickly realised that this job suits me well, I got it all very fast. It took a month of practical training to make everything clear to me. It seems to me that some things are now only routine to me and that every day I am getting better and more skilled.“
Bojan spent a lot of time in on-the-job training in the production hall of PVC doors and windows where, as he said, he had the opportunity of going through the entire ‘production line’ and doing all the operations within the production of windows, doors, and their frames. Afterwards, he went on to work in the workshop for ALU windows and doors and did some field work too.
“I was watching experienced people do the job, but I also had the opportunity to ‘get the feel’ of the tools. I was using a nutrunner, a drill, allen keys. I was making the window elements, packaging for windows and doors. I was helping the fitters to transport the products. I do field work, at the construction sites in Belgrade and Kragujevac where windows and doors were to be fitted. I also worked with the repairmen.“
Believe me, this is the job of the future!
Bojan emphasised that on-the-job training in “Sunce Marinković“ company means a lot to him because there he is learning everything he needs for the job of a fitter with this employer.
When asked whether he sees himself working as a fitter of ALU and PVC windows and doors, he gives a positive answer without any hesitation.
“I am really happy here and after the “Education to Employment” training finishes I would like to stay on and work in Sunce Marinković. Believe me, this is the job of the future. Wooden windows and doors were relegated to history a long time ago. ALU and PVC windows and doors are the future.“
He said that he got to love this job, that he had ‘found himself’ in it. He is sure that he will be able to be his best in it and that the employer would be satisfied with his performance.
Jokingly he said that, even though he was not able to find a job as a civil construction technician, his new skills will give him a chance to ‘maintain contact’ with the construction site, but in a new way.
Bojan is amazed with the knowledge of the instructors from whom the trainees are learning.
“My instructor for production is Mirko Mirkovski. I am sure that all who are interested to learn can learn a lot from him. I was also transferred a lot of knowledge and skills from instructor Aca Đorđević from Belgrade, at the repairs tasks.“
Bojan’s instructor Mirko Mirkovski has 13 years of work experience in “Sunce Marinković“ company. However, training for the trainees within the “Education to Employment” programme is a completely new experience for him. He said that he had worked with new employees before but never in such a systematised manner and ‘from scratch’.
“During the first ten days of training the trainees only observed what is being done and we tried to describe to them what the process is about, what is a window, what is a frame, what is a pane and what a door… what is what. After almost a month, as it is, they are capable to carry out a number of simple operations.“
He thinks that this training is particularly beneficial for those who have none work experience at all.
“This mentorship for young people is really beneficial. Formerly, the youth used to learn crafts from more experienced workers. However, it was not like this. There was not enough time to devote it to working with young workers. Therefore, the youth used to ‘capture’ the skills on their own, if I can say it like that. That has changed now. Within this training, the youth have mentors and the most important thing for a trainee is that he is willing to learn and work.“
Trainees tell him that the workshop is “swell” and that there are no tensions, as well as that fellow workers are ok, that they like the atmosphere there.
“They like to go with us to do the field work and on construction sites in which our products are being installed. They are particularly happy when they take part in the job and when they realise that those windows and doors will stay for years in that building.“
Mirko underlines that this training is very important for the company as well. Namely, in two months of on-the-job training they can identify young people who have a predisposition for this job and those who are prepared to learn and move forwards. They recognise that among the trainees there are those who comply with their work obligations and work discipline, they listen to more experienced workers and fit in the complete work process.
“It is very important for us in the company to be able to identify, in only two months, the trainees willing to adapt to our work environment. Nobody expects of them to do everything perfectly from the very start. I think that it is much more important that trainees show their quality, both as people and workers. Everything else they need as regards the skills they will learn through the years of work experience.“
“Sunce Marinković“: Through training to getting the scarce profiles
“Our main motivation for involvement in the training under the “Education to Employment” programme was to find the relevant staff, the profiles that are in deficit on the labour market. There is a problem on the labour market – how to find a good worker who is not only skilled but also complies with our fundamental values. It is harder and harder to find such candidates. Therefore, we turned to the alternative model,“ Đorđe Kosovac, HR counsellor in “Sunce Marinković“ company, said.
Nowadays young people do not go to school to become the fitters of ALU and PVC windows and doors. “Sunce Marinković“ company say that this profile is in high demand and has good prospects. The trainees have finished secondary vocational schools and most of them have no experience in making windows and doors. The training programme, both its theoretical and practical part, was designed in the company.
They describe the trainees as motivated, serious, committed, and responsible.
“They are not forced into coming here, they came of their own free will when they realised that this training would really benefit them. This is their opportunity to receive retraining and thus become more competitive on the market.“
“Sunce Marinković“ company underlines that the experience they acquire within the training will be valuable for all the trainees. Namely, regardless of the company in which they go, they will need this ‘previous knowledge’– they need to respect the work environment, working hours, their fellow workers, and they need to handle the tools with due care.
Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković
Pirot: Discordance between the supply provided by formal and informal education systems on one hand, and the needs of business sector for skilled staff on the other hand, will be the main focus of the survey which will be conducted in Pirot within the “Education to Employment” programme. The duration of the survey will be four months and the findings should provide a good database for both companies and job seekers.
To ensure that the survey is as comprehensive as possible, “Osveženje” citizens’ Association from Pirot invited all individuals and companies who were willing to participate and help.
“We invite companies to participate in the survey so that we can learn which vocational profiles they need. We will carry out a poll and interview people in the city as well as in suburban and rural areas. After this research which will take 120 days we will have a good database. Access to this database will be allowed to all interested companies and individuals. We also invite students involved in similar research to join us so that we can exchange data,” Miloš Colić from “Osveženje” Association said.
Colić explains that the survey they want to conduct should answer questions related to the inconsistency between the education system and the demand for specific profiles, i.e. between the knowledge and skills of the available workforce on one hand, and the competences that employers are seeking in the labour market on the other hand.
He points out that it is necessary to measure the effects of dual education implemented within the “On-the-job training” programme that was carried out in the past two years of the “Education to Employment” project.
“The purpose of the survey is to contribute to more precise definition of support measures concerning employment in the coming period. The goal is also to elaborate on four specific areas and thus provide to individuals and companies better insight into the state of local business sector as regards the labour market situation,” Colić said
The above areas are the following: labour supply and demand in Pirot; offer of formal and informal education systems in Pirot; the support measures introduced by the Republic of Serbia, the City of Pirot and other stakeholders in the field of employment in Pirot; and self-employment as means for personal and general development of the community.
“As the “Education to Employment” project is slowly entering its final phase, we are summing up its results and are already thinking about the next steps,” Miloš Coliic said.
We are waiting for the green light to train the security staff
According to Miloš Colić from “Osveženje” Association, the project proved very successful when it comes to hiring those who have received on-the-job training in the past two years. He notes that training programmes for CNC operators and welders which are now implemented for 25 people in five different companies, are drawing to a close.
“We expect to get a green light for a project to train security officers. A dozen young people would be included. In September we will analyse the achievements of the project so far. I think that this project is very important for the youth who will be able to find a job more easily with this additional training or retraining,” Colić said.
“Osveženje” Association’s call to companies and individuals
“In view of good cooperation and the response of individuals and representatives of companies in the past period, “Osveženje” Association invites all interested to contact us at tel. no 501-820 or e-mail address: udruzenje.osveženje@gmail.com.”
Text and photography: Zoran Panić/Editor: Sandra Vlatković
Pirot: JOB Info Centre – Youth Career Centre which is a part of the “Education to Employment“ project was presented at the recently held Professional Orientation Fair that was organised by the Branch Office of the National Employment Service in Pirot.
JOB Info Centre is designed as a kind of service centre for young people which, through a versatile set of services and programmes, provides support to youth who are selecting or changing their career path, or looking for a job – Mira Zlatkov from the JOB info centre said.
According to her, besides on-the-job training which is organised for the scarce profiles in cooperation with local businesses, the JOB info centre also provides the career guidance and counselling services, as well as organises different workshops aimed at the promotion of better career orientation for youth.
We organise these workshops in cooperation with primary and secondary schools. Starting from this year, besides Pirot, the workshops like these will be organised in further three municipalities of Pirot County – Babušnica, Bela Palanka, and Dimitrovgrad – Zlatkov said.
She added that it is important for young people that the establishment of such a service gives them opportunity to, just in ‘one-stop’, obtain all necessary information about what awaits them ones they finish primary or secondary school of their choice, as well as to learn about the next steps they need to take.
The offer of university schools and scholarship possibilities were also presented at the fair. This is also very important for young people – Zlatkov said and added that many school pupils and children showed interest for the stall which presented the “Education to Employment“ programme.
Mira Zlatkov stressed that the staff of JOB Info centre strives to ensure that young people have all information they need to make their career choice close at hand.
We go to schools and present the services we have available and promote this programme. We give them advice to, first of all, inform themselves well, collect all relevant information, hear the teachers, parents, professionals in relevant fields. The ultimate goal of such a career service is to ensure that, following it, the youth get a desirable job and employment. The goal is also that they define their interests and desires, and align them with the market needs. What is important is that we are succeeding in reaching them – Zlatkov said.
Training is very important
On-the-job training which we implement through the “Education to Employment” programme is very important for young people since it gives them opportunity to learn more about the working environment, the operational mode of the companies in which the training takes place, the production process, and the vocational profiles. Now underway is the implementation of a public call entitled “’Employees to Fit Your Business Needs” within which on-the-job training is attended by 26 young persons in the Pirot companies which expressed a need for the profiles of CNC operator and welder. As regards CNC operator, training is organised in four companies: “JLB-Soulier”, “D Company”, STR “Stojanović”, and Mijić Božidar’s Sole Proprietorship. Training for welders will be implemented in three companies: “D Company”, “Stojanović”, and “Varmont” – Mira Zlatkov said.
Text and photo: Zoran Panić / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković
Novi Pazar: The new cycle of on-the-job training in Ras County, within the “Education to Employment” programme, will cover the profiles of waiter and personal carer for a child, i.e. the profiles for which there is a deficiency of qualified staff in Novi Pazar, Raška, and Tutin.
Marija Tiosavljević, vice-president of Novi Pazar Psychological Association, the programme partner in this part of Serbia, said for E2E that the training will be attended by 15 young people who, predominately, finished secondary school, and who are hard-to-place on the labour market.
Training for waiters will be implemented in several catering facilities in Novi Pazar and in a coffee shop in Raška.
“In the market research we learnt that waiter is a profile in high demand. Many employers face a deficit of quality staff and we believe that this programme will meet their requirements. Provided they satisfy the employers’ criteria, all trainees will have the opportunity to establish permanent employment once they finish the training”, Tiosavljević said.
From the total of 15 trainees, five will come from vulnerable social groups, such as young people from foster families or those who are searching for a job for more than a year. The duration of training will be two months, and they will be taught the competences which a quality waiter needs to possess by five mentors with long-term experience in catering sector.
The duration of training for the personal carer for a child will be a month longer. Out of 15 trainees from these three cities, seven will come from the category of marginalised social groups.
“According to the latest data, at least 40 children with developmental disability are on Novi Pazar waiting list for the personal carer. Moreover, from the experience of the people who do this job we know that the need for personal carers in the schools of our county is great and disproportionate to their current status and the regulations”, vice-president of the Association underlined.
Tiosavljević stressed that inadequate number of personal carers impedes the inclusion of persons with developmental disabilities in the educational system, as well as that personal carers play an important role in the processes of integration and socialisation of such children.
She added that on-the-job training will be preceded by SKA (skills, knowledge, attitudes) analyses to provide full information required for the development of the training programme which will be in line with the needs of employers.
“Analysis is the starting point of the training that has its theoretical part and a practical part taking place in the companies which expressed interest to train and employ people of the specific profile, waiters and personal carers in this case. This method contributes to the shortening of training duration: more competent staff is obtained while less resources are spent“, Tiosavljević said.
In the first cycle in Novi Pazar, within the “Education to Employment” programme, on-the-job training was organised for the total of 54 jobless people with less than 30 years of age, for the profiles of dairy technologist, upholsterer, and denim sewer.
Twenty four young people underwent the training programme for sewers, and 15 the training for each the dairy technologists and the upholsterers. The Swiss Government provided 63.5 thousand euro for the implementation of the training.
Additional funds, amounting to almost 34 thousand euro, Switzerland have allocated to raise the employability level for 20 young Novi Pazar residents with developmental disability.
Text and photo: Nikola Kočović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković
Kragujevac:Marijana Marić and Magdalena Aleksić are undergoing training for nursery teachers within the second cycle of the “Education to Employment“ project. Marijana finished the Higher Pedagogical School and Magdalena has one more exam to past to receive master diploma at the Pedagogical Academy. These 24 year old girls share a wish –to find a job as nursery teachers. They are aware that they do not have relevant experience to be able to do this job. They did not get any practice through their formal education and in order to get it, they went to “Šumska vila“ nursery school in Kragujevac. This nursery school implements practical training for young jobless nursery teachers.
Marijana’s journey to “Šumska vila”
During the largest part of her early education, Marijana, who is from the vicinity of Ćićevac, was in a foster family. After she finished her studies, she found herself in front of a new challenge – to find a job and become financially independent. She came to Kragujevac to write new pages of her life. Since she did not find a job as a nursery teacher, she accepted a job in production industry but kept it for a short time only since she realised that it was not the right choice for her. She came to “Šumska vila“ thanks to the Centre for Foster Care which advised her about the training under the “Education to Employment“ programme. She had no doubts at all.
She now goes to “Šumska vila“ nursery school every day at 9 and stays there until 16.30. She spends full working hours there. She said that her time there flies since her day is filled with numerous activities she has with children. When we met her, Marijana was with a middle group which consist of the children of three to five years of age. Even though daily routine is in place (breakfast, play, snack, sleep), she said that, when it comes to children, every day is different. Topics for conversation and play are many – we are talking about feelings, why we are sad or happy, we draw ‘smiley faces’, read, talk about animals, make holiday cards, etc.
“I am quite satisfied, children have accepted me well – that is very important. And I am now meeting their parents as well. I acquire new knowledge every day. I first had theoretical training at the nursery school, and then I started my practical training working with the youngest children – those who are less than three years old. Now I work with children who are three to five years of age. It took me only two weeks of practice to become more relaxed and communicate better with children. “
Marijana said that in “Šumska vila“ she applies everything she learnt in school. She is watching more experienced teachers at work, following their advice. And, what is most beneficial, she is involved in all the activities. She underlined that she did not have such an opportunity during her studies. Namely, everything she learnt, she learnt from books.
“I expect to, through training, acquire the exact experience, knowledge and skills I need for the nursery teacher job and, what is most important, to be prepared to work independently with nursery school children“, Marijana said.
Practical knowledge supplementing the master degree
In the eve of receiving her master degree at the Pedagogical Academy in Kruševac, Magdalena Aleksić decided to ‘enrol’ the training for nursery teachers and supplement her university degree with practical experience she lacked.
“I learnt about the new cycle of the training from a friend who already attended the training for nursery teachers within the first cycle of the Education to Employment programme. I decided to apply because I wanted to learn about practical aspects of working in a nursery school.“
She said that she managed very well in the training and that her impressions are great.
„Now I am in a group of children over five years of age. Two nursery teachers work with them. In addition to our usual activities, today we will have Andrija’s birthday celebration as well as exercise in the gym.“
Magdalena said that it seems to her now that university studies and actual work in a nursery school have nothing in common. She explained that two-week practical training at the university is reduced to watching what nursery teachers do, without any involvement in their activities.
“It is quite different in the practical training within the ‘Education to Employment’ programme. There I am able to apply to my work with children everything I know in theory and everything I see older nursery teachers do“, Magdalena said, convinced that she will learn a lot and that the certificate from this training will help her find a job.
Nursery school director as the training mentor
A year ago “Šumska vila” nursery school employed a trainee who had received training for nursery teachers under the “Education to Employment“ programme cycle I, because they were really satisfied with her work. Following this good experience, “Šumska vila“ decided to participate in the implementation of training for nursery teachers in the second cycle of the “Education to Employment“ programme and received four young trainees. Neda Božović director of nursery school became a mentor in this training and now she is monitoring daily progress of the trainees.
“Mentorship is normally a part of my daily professional endeavours in the nursery school. When young people come to work with us, I do my best to explain and show them everything. One learns best when he sees how something is done, and then try to do that by himself.“
She underwent the training for mentors within the “Education to Employment“ programme which was very useful for her since she acquired systematised knowledge about the transfer of knowledge and evaluation of the trainees’ performance. Also, she had the opportunity to share experience with other mentors. She knows from experience that young nursery teachers find it difficult to keep records, and they consider keeping an activity log ‘a scary business’.
“We are trying to solve this problem through the practical training within the ‘Education to Employment’ programme. When a trainee starts keeping an activity log, this task no longer seems a ‘mission impossible’ to him“.
On the other hand, from the perspective of employers, she said that these two months of practical training are quite sufficient to be able to say whether a person is suitable for the profession of a nursery teacher or not, primarily judging their communication skills, responsibility and attitude towards work.
In “Šumska vila” (‘Forest Fairy’ in English) they say they are ready to be a ‘Good Fairy’ and offer a job to those who “prove to be capable” during the training. Within the second cycle of the “Education to Employment“ programme, 13 young people will receive training for nursery teachers and they will acquire practical knowledge in “Šumska vila” and “Drugarstvo“nursery schools. In the last year’s cycle, after they finished the training, almost entire group of trainees who received training within the “Education to Employment“ programme established employment with nursery schools in Kragujevac.
Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković