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

Supporting Young People In Finding Decent Jobs

From Education to Employment (E2E) is a partnership project between the Government of Serbia and the Swiss Government that’s building alliances between the public, civil and private sectors involved in youth employment

Until June this year, more than 1,500 young people were given an opportunity to train for occupations that are in short supply, with 70% of them immediately finding a job for which they’ve been trained and many of them gaining their first work experience through the project, says Project Head Oliver Streit.

What concrete measures included in the project with the Government of the Republic of Serbia would make it easier for young people to gain employment?

At the national level, E2E supports the evidence-based development of youth employment policies, while at the local level it facilitates practical employment and learning opportunities for young people in Serbia. The E2E project provides Work-Based Learning (WBL) of labour market skills required by companies, which will help young people secure a decent job faster. Through NIRAS – IP, the project creates opportunities for young jobseekers from selected regions of Central and South Serbia. In order to better match private sector needs with the labour supply, it cooperates with six local partners from Novi Pazar, Knjaževac, Pirot, Kruševac, and Kragujevac who facilitate the training programmes and offer career guidance and matching services for both young people and companies.

What stands behind the E2E workplace training/learning model?

Through E2E, Switzerland promotes modern training in companies, career counselling and other labour market measures that provide young people just embarking on their careers with better chances to gain employment. WBL training is an ideal opportunity for youngsters, through a combination of theoretical and practical training, to acquire precisely the experience, skills and knowledge that employers are seeking, and hence find a job faster, resulting in economic independence. WBL is a real-life work experience (traineeship) for youngsters in companies, implemented with the support of in-company trained mentors.

It is a real pleasure for Switzerland to be part of this successful project, which includes vulnerable youngsters who face more difficulties when entering the labour market

The Government of Switzerland supported the E2E programme with 14.7 million euros. What does it mean for young people?

We contribute to the improvement of both national and local policies and legislation in the field of youth employment by giving concrete proposals through the testing and implementing of many innovative methods, such as the WBL approach and Career Guidance Counselling (CGC) instruments. Through such support, embedding these elements into local youth employment policies has been ensured and the capacities of professional counsellors strengthened.

Through E2E, the Swiss experience of top-modern CGC instruments has been successfully adapted to the Serbian context, and Serbia now has the 1st web-based competence assessment and a matching tool in the Balkans, which is raising the employability of young people. Over 16,000 youngsters have so far received advice on how to continue their professional careers.

It is a real pleasure for Switzerland to be part of this successful project, which includes vulnerable youngsters who face more difficulties when entering the labour market. Thanks to our E2E partners throughout Serbia, who have built up trust between actors at the local levels, youngsters can now make informed career decisions and ultimately find decent jobs easier.

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