HELP:

Employment Prospects Through Vocational Training

German NGO Help has been operating in Serbia since 2002, providing start-ups with in-kind grants and business and vocational training in order to create self-employment and income opportunities. Throughout the years, Help has supported over 6,000 families in their efforts to secure regular incomes through projects aimed at ensuring sustainable growth and employment

As a 2016 impact analysis shows: 74% of small and micro businesses supported by Help between 2004 and 2013 are operational and generate income, creating additional, permanent jobs.

Working on employability, with a focus on socially marginalised sectors of the population and the development of different types of schemes, suits a variety of possibilities for new jobs. The value of in-kind grants ranges from €1500 to €3000 for individual grants for start-ups and employment to €15000 for cooperatives engaged in agriculture production, recycling and construction works.

In addition to the German and EU funds that Help is using for emergency relief and sustainable development in Serbia, in 2014 the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, joined in supporting socio-economic empowerment among vulnerable groups and minorities.

The value of in-kind grants ranges from €1500 to €3000 for individual grants for start-ups and employment to €15000 for cooperatives engaged in agriculture production, recycling and construction works

The €1.8 million project “Poverty reduction and enhancement of employment opportunities of marginalised and vulnerable population groups with a special focus on Roma women in Serbia”, which was supported by Sida, co-financed by the targeted cities and municipalities (Kraljevo, Krusevac, Leskovac, Obrenovac, Prijepolje, Pozarevac, Trstenik, Vlasotince, Vladicin Han and Vranje) and is being implemented by Help from May 2014 until August 2017, focuses on the right to employment of vulnerable groups and has so far supported over 400 families in generating income.

However, the greatest identified challenge faced by unemployed people under 30 is their lack of work experience, which consequently makes employment less likely. To overcome this issue, Help addressed youth with a background in secondary vocational education in cooperation with the relevant local and national stakeholders.

In order for them to gain practical knowledge, skills and the required experience in private companies, and to meet the specific requirements of the future employer, Help realised – within the framework of the Sida supported project – a pilot activity: project component on-the-job-training for more than 40 young unemployed people in Kraljevo and Vranje.

During the cycle of on-the-job-training, the private companies included in the work placement practice for unemployed youngsters in Kraljevo and Vranje, with additional incentives in the form of equipment within the project, decided to retain the best motivated trainees and offer them employment. In Kraljevo alone, thirteen young people aged up to 21 have been hired since October 2016 after completing their on-the-job-training with the same employer.

Hence, together with the donor community and national and local stakeholders, through self-employment programmes, Help is creating new job prospects for the targeted groups of the population, contributing to the sustainable, long-term development of local communities and their members. The principle of assistance towards achieving self-reliance remains the Help mode in pursuit of the vision of a just, safe and dignified human life.