Dialogue for Youth - national conference on promoting youth employment

Local news, 18.11.2019

The national conference of the program for youth employment promotion Dialogue for Youth was held in Belgrade on 18th November. The occasion for the conference was the finalization of the first four-year phase of the Education to Employment project (E2E), implemented by the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Team of the Serbian Government (SIPRU) and NIRAS-IP Consult with support from the Swiss Government, and in cooperation with the Youth Employment Promotion project, implemented by the German organization for international cooperation (GIZ).

Dialogue for Youth - national conference on promoting youth employment
Dialogue for Youth - national conference on promoting youth employment ©E2E

The Ambassador of Switzerland to Serbia, Mr Philippe Guex emphasized the importance of dialogue between multiple national and international institutions, which will contribute to improvement of policies and practices in youth employment. “So far, Switzerland has supported youth employment programmes with EUR 7 million, and starting from 2020 shall allocate an additional EUR 7 million to this very important area. The Education to Employment Program has facilitated employment for 24% of young people from vulnerable groups, and 128 Serbian small and medium sized enterprises have collaborated with young people,” said Mr Guex.

Together with Mr Guex, Mr. Thomas Schieb, the Ambassador of Germany to Serbia emphasized the need of supporting youth employment and said that the Youth Employment Promotion project currently implemented within German-Serbian Development Cooperation, aims to provide support for the youth between 15 and 35 years of age and help them improve their position in employment market and consequently find employment more quickly. “We have helped create more than 60,000 job openings in more than 430 companies, and this accomplishment undoubtedly represents a positive and growing trend”, said Mr Schieb.

The idea behind the conference was to present successful practices and to implement such practices in the employment system, to turn them into viable practices at both national and local levels.

 “We are here to gather experience and improve cooperation in the field of youth employability. Currently, the National Action Plan for 2020 is being drafted and public discussion is planned for next week. We will focus on less employable persons, on individuals who have been looking for employment for a long time and young people who cannot find employment within their area of expertise. Human capital is extremely important to us and we will try harder to prevent human capital outflow and to bring back the people who have already left the country. Furthermore, we are working on creating an ambiance that will attract foreign experts”, said Bojana Stanić, state secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs (MoLEVSA).

In addition to the MoLEVSA, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, SIPRU and NIRAS-IP Consult, supported by the Government of Switzerland took part in dialogue on youth employment.

Katrin Ochsenbein, regional economy advisor at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, explained that Education to Employment is a multidisciplinary instrument which encompasses both the economic and social spheres of life and policy, focused on practical trainings, youth trainings and regional experiences.

As a part of the Conference, a good practices mini-fair of local partner organizations was organized, so the participants had an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the results, successful examples and approaches of the E2E and YEP projects.

The Education to Employment (E2E) Program is supported by the Government of Switzerland to the tune of EUR 7 million (The Education to Employment (E2E) Program has received (or is receiving) EUR 7 million in support from the Government of Switzerland) for the first phase and as of 2020, Switzerland will allocate an additional EUR 7 million. The aim of the Program is to improve the prospects of young people on the Serbian labour market through advanced policies and practices, a relevant legal framework and development of skills and knowledge, which are relevant for employers.