Kragujevac:A common situation even in coronavirus time: the unemployed wait in front of Kragujevac NES office. The novelty is that they wear protective masks and keep physical distance, and queue in a long line outside the office.
Most of the young people came to verify their card, but there are also the new jobseekers who register for the first time at the employment service. Their common wish is to have more luck finding job as of this autumn.
We met Dragan, Milan and Nataša, who said that they had no work experience after completing a secondary vocational school. They spent their summer working a little bit, doing some seasonal jobs. They said that they were persistent in their job search. They checked on the vacancies, asking employers about the available jobs. They would accept to be retrained or additionally trained in order to find their first job easier. They learned about the Education to Employment trainings through Facebook or through their friends who got their jobs at companies where they attended trainings. They said that they would certainly apply after the call was published as they heard that there would be new WBL trainings within the Education to Employment project.
In the NES branch office in Kragujevac young people can get information about the possibility to be involved in the traineeship and various trainings including the ones implemented by the E2E project.
NES statistics of the youth (un)employment in Šumadija
According to NES records in Šumadija district, including the city of Kragujevac and six additional municipalities, the total number of unemployed is 26,355 with the youth up to the age of 30 accounting for about 19% of the total number of unemployed.
“The share of youth is declining compared to the previous years when they accounted for 23 to 24% of the total number of the registered unemployed”, Gorica Bačanin, the director of the NES branch office in Kragujevac said.
There were 4982 jobless young people up to the age of 30 in Šumadija this August, out of which 2906 were women.
Almost half of the unemployed youth has fourth degree of professional qualifications, then the third degree, 960 of them, while 841 has university degree. There are also 726 jobless young people with the first degree, i.e. primary school education.
A similar trend has been seen in the city of Kragujevac where majority of jobless youth has completed high school, followed by those with the university degree.
Health care professionals, construction workers, engineers, deliverymen are in great demand
In the first seven months of this year, according to the NES branch office in Kragujevac, employment fell in Šumadija by 11.7 % compared to the same period in 2019. There were 5.880 people employed and the youth up to the age of 30 accounted for 34%.
The NES branch office stated that COVID-19 pandemic caused no turmoil in the labour market, i.e. there were no significant hiring or lay-offs. Government’s financial assistance measure of providing minimum wage to employees contributed to the stability. They added: ‘We’ll see what happens in October’.
In the time of coronavirus the change occurred on the list of occupations in demand, as some of them became ‘undesirable’, primarily in the sectors most affected by the pandemic.
The NES branch office in Kragujevac stated that there was less demand for workers in trade, catering and tourism sectors.
On the other side, the labour market in Šumadija still needs construction workers, civil engineers, vulcanizing service workers, welders, deliverymen, etc.
Employers were interested in internships organized by the NES for lawyers, economists and teachers.
Mechanical engineers and IT professionals are still in demand, as well as others that can work remotely, from home.
A high demand for health care professionals resulted in reduced number of the unemployed registered with NES. Medical and laboratory technicians were needed in the Clinical centre and Institute for Public Health in Kragujevac. In contrast with the start of the year, this August the number of registered medical technicians and doctors declined by 60 and 80 respectively.
NES has recorded the increase of teachers employment this year. Upon the line Ministry’s approval, more than 300 teachers working part-time across Šumadija got a full-time job.
Employers give priority to youth employment
“Employers tend to look for younger people and give them a chance. They rather hire younger jobseekers so that they could get new knowledge and experience through trainings thus adjusting to the needs of the company ”, Bačanin said.
NES acts as a mediator in employment which includes selection of candidates among the registered unemployed at the request of an employer for specific occupations and additional skills.
“We also organize an ‘Info Day’ for employers to present their hiring needs to jobseekers. Employers make a final selection of candidates that we refer to them based on selection results. They interview them individually and make hiring decisions” the director to the NES branch office in Kragujevac said.
Within the employment support to the youth up to the age of 30, NES applies a set of measures including traineeship and internship programs for trainees with high school, college and university degrees.
By the end of this July a traineeship program was held involving 123 young persons and an internship program involving 24 young persons under 30.
The youth under 30 are given priority in the subsidy program provided for employers who hire jobless from the hard-to-place category and self-employment program
There are also non-financial assistance measures for the youth under 30. Those are trainings for the labour market, active job seeking, JOB club, ‘Path to entrepreneurial success’ online trainings.
The collaboration includes keeping young people informed and aware of the opportunities to get involved in any of the trainings held within the Education to Employment project.
Text and photo by Gordana Mirović / Edited by Sandra Vlatković
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
Kruševac: Lazar Jovanović decided to undergo the training to work in the production of cardboard boxes. He is learning this new craft in BIG company in Kruševac. He is twenty years old and this is his first job. The training for workers in the production of cardboard boxes is implemented, within the “Education to Employment” programme, in two companies in Kruševac.
Lazar, who has finished department for financial technicians in the Economic School, decided to try himself out in the production process.
“I came to this training so that I can acquire new knowledge. I think that everybody needs to have a craft in their hands and this job seemed interesting to me,“ Lazar said.
He considers both vocational profiles – the one for which he went to school and this one for which he is undergoing the training at present time – to be equal candidates for his prospective occupation. After twenty or so days he still thinks that a job in the production of cardboard boxes is interesting.
“It is not physically hard but it requires a person to be focused, to understand the sequence of operations. The mentor is patient, he demonstrates to me what I am supposed to do,“ he said.
When we visited them, they were making boxes for cheese. The quantity of those boxes was really small and so the job had to be done by hand. The boxes are made in such a way that glue is to be put in three places. That is why you need to be fast and skilful in order to finish the job in a timely manner.
Aleksandar Marković, who is a mentor in the training of workers for the production of cardboard boxes in BIG company, is satisfied with the progress Lazar makes.
“He fitted in really quickly. He is acquiring the routine really fast. Nobody would think he has been here for some twenty days only. It looks like he has been working for a couple of years already,“ Marković said.
Marković is satisfied since Lazar, as well as other trainees, makes a very good progress. He believes the training he received as a mentor was really important to him since it helped him work with the young people whom he is now teaching to do this job.
Within the training, the trainees learn die-cutting, box-binding, palette-making – all parts of the production process.
“We wanted the youth to learn more about this job“
BIG company was founded in 2001. At first, it dealt with trade, and later on it shifted to the production process.
“We are making cardboard packaging, for commercial and transport purposes, mostly for known buyers. We are also recycling cardboard, paper, waste PET packaging and waste packaging wrap. We employ nine workers. Our production growth is continuous and there is a possibility to employ new workers,” owner of the company Dragiša Marković said.
They decided on the “Education to Employment” programme when they noticed that there is a lack of young people who know how to work in the production of cardboard boxes.
“People employed with us are mostly older people who used to work in “Cepak“ or “Dušan Petronijević“ company. We wished to bring this vocational profile closer to young people, to enable them to learn about the job we do and, maybe, get employment with us tomorrow,“ the owner of BIG company said.
Three trainees are learning to work in the production of cardboard boxes in this company, and further 11 young people learn to do this job in “Dunipak“ company.
Within the on-the-job training which is a part of the “Education to Employment” programme, young people in Kruševac will be trained to work in the production of wooden articles. The training for this vocational profile in two companies will be attended by 17 young job-seekers.
Text and photo: Jelena Božović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković
Kruševac: On-the-job training within the “Education to Employment” programme is implemented according to the specific programmes which are developed based on profile analysis and the design of activities required for each individual job. This is the approach taken in designing the training for workers in the production of wooden elements which will be attended by 17 young job-seekers. They will receive on-the-job training in two Kruševac companies.
Before the training began, the programme was developed based on so-called SKA analysis which is the starting point.
“SKA analysis is a process of analysing a vocational profile process by listing, describing, and classifying the activities involved. The information about the profile is provided by employers, all with the purpose to ensure the best possible training of young people who wish to adopt required skills and knowledge,“ Sanja Nikolić from the Youth Council of Kruševac explained. She is in charge of cooperation with business sector within the “Education to Employment” project.
The two workshops were attended by employees of the companies involved with the project, as well as by all those who can contribute to the analysis of the profiles concerned.
“Within the first workshop we list all activities to be carried out, within a specific job, in a working day, week, or month,“ Sanja Nikolić explained.
The participants of the first workshop for SKA analysis focused on the vocational profile of a worker in the production of wooden elements were five employees from “Eco papir” and “Saming” companies. It was concluded in this workshop that there are 16 activities relevant for this profile.
At the second workshop, which ensued ten or so days after the first, the participants also included the more experienced workers.
“The listed activities were classified into four groups based on the description of knowledge, skills, and attitudes which a person needs to possess to be able to have them carried out in a satisfactory manner,“ Nikolić said.
The documents which are the outputs of those workshops were the groundwork for the development of SKA report based on which the training plan, or the curriculum for this vocational profile, has been developed, as well as the SKA analysis.
The participants of these workshops feel that such approach to profile analysis is different, interesting, detailed, and comprehensive.
“They agree that such analyses would be valuable for all the profiles involved in their production process,“ Sanja Nikolić said.
She noted that SKA analysis was practically the first training, or the first knowledge they acquired with the support of the E2E management in all five cities in which the “Education to Employment” project is being implemented.
“Those first workshops were implemented as early as the beginning of 2017. The training for SKA trainers was conducted by Marietheres Schuler and Patrick Lechenmeier, both from the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET). As of today, the teams of all five cities have about 30 SKA analyses completed and a broker from Kruševac conducted 6 SKA analyses himself,“ Sanja Nikolić said.
Five persons in total, one from each of the National Employment Service, Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the City Administration, and two from the Youth Council of Kruševac, received training for SKA trainers within the “Education to Employment” programme.
Text and photo: Jelena Božović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković
Pirot: The “Education to Employment“ project is now fully fledged in Pirot. Cooperation with all secondary schools in the town was established, and the companies showed interest for two profiles: CNC operators and welders – that is the information provided by the Consortium consisting of the Job Info Centre, Zip Youth Centre – Business Incubator, and “Osveženje“ Citizens’ Association.
The Consortium is a project partner. In the name of the Consortium, Mira Zlatkov said that now following is the implementation of on-the-job training.
“At this early stage the companies have expressed interest for two profiles: CNC operators and welders. Currently we are working on establishing a network of interested candidates and making a contact with the companies interested to be involved in this training programme,“ Mira Zlatkov said.
At the same time, great interest was shown by young people who are jobless and who would like to find a job by undergoing training for the profiles which are in demand.
“We are on daily basis collecting the applications of young people who would like to enter this training programme. What I would like to underline is that it is very important to establish cooperation with companies since this training could not be organised were it not for their desire and involvement“, Zlatkov said.
It can be said that this training is a kind of dual education model since they are based on specific needs of companies and on the acquiring of skills and knowledge required for specific work positions.
“Training programmes are created based on above requirements. Young people first undergo theoretical training, and then on-the-job training in companies, with mentors who are transferring their knowledge to them“, Zlatkov explained.
Career information and counselling of young people is the second part of the project and the workshops with the students of finishing grades of secondary schools have already taken place.
“We have established very good cooperation with all secondary schools in Pirot. At the workshops, finishing graders of all secondary schools in the town got information about what awaits them when they finish secondary school and how they are to choose a career that is right for them. We showed them how to follow the needs of the labour market, as well as what universities in Serbia and abroad are available for them and what are the possibilities of getting scholarships. This project is very important for young people“, Zlatkov said.
The “Education to Employment“ project is financed by the Swiss Government and the Serbian Government, and this year’s call is entitled: “Employees Tailored to Suit your Business Needs“.
Many have already found a job and new trainees can apply until the end of March
“Deadline for submission of applications is 31 March of next year. The entire project should subsist until the end of next year. In the previous phase of on-the-job training, over 50 percent of people who underwent the training have already found a job in the companies in which they attended the training or in other companies – which is really important“, Mira Zlatkov said.
Text and photo: Zoran Panić Editor: Sandra Vlatković
Pirot: Five young women who did not have any formal education at all or have finished primary school only are now trained for elderly helper and are ready to help their elderly fellow citizens. These five Roma women underwent the training within the “A Step to Employment” project aimed at increasing the employability of young people belonging to vulnerable population. Pirot Red Cross organisation joined the project this year.
Kristina Vasilov, an associate of Red Cross organisation in Pirot, explained that the training took place four months ago and that the duration of theoretical training was one month. For the other three months, the trainees learnt through on-the-job training.
“As for theoretical training, the trainees were really delighted with it. They found the things they learnt to be interesting and it will surely help them in their future work. Curriculum included areas such as social welfare, primary care, recovery, first aid training. After they acquired those skills, they became self-confident”, Vasilov said.
They continued to learn through on-the-job training. Namely, each trainee accompanied a licensed elderly helper in the visits to the beneficiaries of the “Home Care Assistance”.
“They were there performing the tasks included in the job description of an elderly helper. I believe that the training was really beneficial for the trainees and that they have learnt a lot. They have completed the training successfully and they are ready to work“, Vasilov said.
Jasmina Demirović (37) was one of the trainees. She told us that her love for helping other people was what motivated her to apply to this training.
“The training meant a lot to me. At first I was a little bit afraid whether the beneficiaries will accept me or not. I am only too happy with how everything went and the thing that we were working with the beneficiaries. I hope that I will find a job. The cooperation with them was good. I helped them with their house chores”, Jasmina explained.
Licensed elderly helper Džani Zorćić (30) has been helping the elderly in this town through the Red Cross organisation since two years ago. Before he started, he had completed the same training that Jasmina underwent.
“We attended the training on helping those who need our help. Jasmina was learning really quickly. We had a coordinator from the Red Cross who helped us with the implementation of this project. We are helping the beneficiaries at their homes, particularly the elderly who live alone. We buy foodstuffs for them, get their medicines, and pay their bills. They particularly like the fact that we are spending time with them because they live alone”, Džani said.
Radmila Milenković (86) confirmed that she likes the most that they are spending time with her. She has been living on her own for nine years already and elderly helpers were assisting her all the time.
“They help me with everything. It means a world to me that they come three times a week and stay with me for two hours. Besides helping me, they talk with me and I am really happy when they come. I have been living alone for a long time. They maintain my household well”, Milenković said.
A very responsible job, the trainees are ready to work
Sanja Stanković, secretary of the Pirot Red Cross organisation said that the job of an elderly helper is a very serious job and requires continuous training.
“Each of our beneficiaries is specific. Elderly helpers need to be very responsible and serious when they do their job. These five girls proved to be really good during the training”, Sanja Stanković said.
“We also had different workshops on communication, primarily communication with the elderly, taking into account that this is a specific job. Considering that they have completed first aid training too, they know how to check vital signs of the beneficiaries of this service. They have fitted in really well”, Pirot Red Cross associate Kristina Vasilov said.
The beneficiaries of the “Home Care Assistance” service in Pirot are the elderly who are more than 65 old.
Text and photo: Zoran Panić Editor: Sandra Vlatković