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Oliver Streit, Head Of The Education To Employment Project, NIRAS – IP Consult GmbH

E2E Leads To Triple-Win

A total of 1,678 young people have so far completed 127 on-the-job training programmes, with more than 77 per cent of the young people who completed the training immediately gaining employment within the same company. The results of E2E are seen through young people who are satisfied to have gained employment and companies that are happy to find motivated young workers

The “Education to Employment” (E2E) project, a multi-annual partnership project of two governments, Swiss and Serbian, which was designed to support the development of an environment conducive to improved youth employment, published a new April 2022 call for employers, entitled “Employees to Fit your Business”.

Since 2016, together with the relevant ministries and institutions, the private sector, CSOs and local governments, the E2E project has been advocating the improvement of employment policies that would enable young people to gain an inclusive and sustainable position on the labour market.

“I believe that the response of employers within the scope of the fourth call, Work-Based Learning (WBL) Training Platform, is now already astonishing and indicates that more companies are seeking qualified young workers, which is an area where the E2E – with its structured approach to training – has proven successful. So far, based on the experiences of the 132 companies involved in this training in previous years, we see overwhelming interest, with the E2E fulfilling a niche and leading to a triple-win,” says E2E Project Director Oliver Streit.

This eight-year project has a total value of 28.7 million euros and the 2nd phase (2020-2023) has seen Switzerland and Serbia continue to contribute jointly to project implementation, namely the Swiss Government with 8.9 million euros and the Government of Serbia with 4.5 million euros. A total of 1,678 young people have so far completed 127 on-the-job training programmes, with more than 77 per cent of the young people who completed the training immediately gaining employment.

Based on the experiences of the 132 companies involved in this training in previous years, we see overwhelming interest, with the E2E fulfilling a niche and leading to a triple-win

“We want to influence the modernisation of youth employment, so that by learning through practical work young people will acquire skills that are in demand and that will help them find their future job faster and easier. At the same time, we help companies find new and adequate personnel who will acquire the necessary competencies required on the labour market. This is a unique opportunity to create a youth employment support system that’s tailormade just for Serbia, and our results are seen through satisfied, employed young people, as well as through happy companies that find a motivated, young workforce,” says Streit.

WBL TRAINING IMPACTS ON YOUTH AND COMPANIES

At the Stax company in Čačak they note that organising training through projects like “Education to Employment” is the only way to reach workers suitable for the specific requirements of the workplace. They are satisfied with the personnel they trained, and Guča local Rajko Stanić was hired immediately after completing the training.

“I learned the most from my mentor, as well as working on the machine and simulators. I was very proud when, after three and a half months of training, I was able to work independently on the machine and when I took the processed piece in my hands, done without anyone’s help. This kind of training is an ideal opportunity for young people who need to get a job,” explains young Rajko.

The welder job profile tops the list of occupations that are in short supply in Serbia, and it is true that those who have this trade under their belt can choose any job they want. However, there are few young people wanting to learn this vital trade. In cooperation with the “Education to Employment” project, company DMV from Niš opened its doors to four future welders, with 25-year-old Marija Nešić also training for this job.

“I’ve wanted to learn this job since I was little, but no one ever had the time to show me. Then I saw the advertisement for the ‘Education to Employment’ programme and decided to apply, so here I am today. My wish came true, and I started the new year getting to learn a new, practical skill,” said Marija, adding that she likes the job and the eam very much and now couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.

Continuity of training is a key advantage of the E2E programme, as it is carried out according to a preprepared plan and the knowledge imparted to young people is systematised

“This is not an easy job, but when you love something, it isn’t difficult. A steady hand is required, the work is interesting. It’s very similar to embroidery or crocheting, with the added fact that there are sparks, and I’m not afraid of sparks,” she added with a laugh.

Požega-based company Inmold participated in the implementation of the E2E WBL training for the first time in 2021, after which it employed 24 trainees as CNC operators and plastic injection technicians.

“We need young people who want to work, to learn and live from the knowledge gained. The young people who came to the company through the E2E project were motivated to learn, to enter our system and to become independent in their work,” said Tomislav Miletić, Inmold’s main mentor of practical teaching.

Tomislav points out the continuity of training as a key advantage of the E2E programme, as it is carried out according to a preprepared plan and the knowledge imparted to young people is systematised.

WBL TRAINING PROGRAMMES WILL BE ORGANISED IN 12 DISTRICTS

Within the scope of this call, the E2E project provides financial and technical assistance to private sector employers in need of competent labour through the organisation of various work-based learning opportunities via the WBL Training Platform for current or future jobseekers, focusing mainly on young people aged under 30, but not excluding other potential participants, particularly from vulnerable groups. This support programme will assist employers in the process of selecting, training and recruiting new workers. The E2E promotes decent work and will particularly incentivise employers who offer trainees suitable employment conditions.

A total of 75 million dinars has been earmarked for this call. The training budget will be the result of joint funding, with employers, entrepreneurs, micro firms and small companies participating with a minimum of 30 per cent of the total budget, while mediumsized and large companies will provide a minimum of 50 per cent of the total training budget. More information about the Call and how to apply can be found at www.znanjemdoposla.rs/currentcall- call-2022.

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