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Erika Teoman-Brenner, Austrian Commercial Counsellor

Leading Force In Strengthening VET

The Federal Economic Chamber of Austria has very close and excellent relations with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia

Our good relations ensured that we were very pleased to share with our esteemed colleagues from the CCIS our experience with a chamber system that is built on legal membership because we firmly believe that legal membership is a prerequisite for a strong chamber. And only a strong chamber has a strong voice: both vis-à-vis the government and at the European level. This is particularly important in times when a country is negotiating its accession to the European Union.

Given the structure of Austrian businesses, we also feel that only legal membership can guarantee that the interests of all companies, be they multinationals or small shop owners, are represented in an effective and balanced way.

The Serbian Chamber is deeply involved in reforming the existing system in order to make it fit for the challenges of the future, particularly in light of the growing need of industry and commerce for a qualified labour force

We are, of course, in no position to comment on the implementation of the Serbian law from the perspectives of individual companies here. However, there is definitely one aspect that we consider very important – not only for the future of our companies in Serbia, but for every single Serbian company, where the new law has a direct and positive impact: this is the field of vocational training, where the Serbian Chamber is deeply involved in reforming the existing system in order to make it fit for the challenges of the future, particularly in light of the growing need of industry and commerce for a qualified labour force.

Our experience shows that the success of the Austrian dual vocational training system largely depends on the fact that the curricula are drafted in very close cooperation with the companies of a particular sector, represented by the Chamber. The new Chamber Law in Serbia is instrumental for introducing a similar system in the country, whereby the CCIS will be the leading force in strengthening the role of practice-based learning and training.

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