Great recognition of achievements being made in growing the skills of Serbia’s young job seekers

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Signing ceremony for the MoU between the E2E project and the city of Čačak.

Receiving accolades and municipal funding for training, the Education to Employment project is winning hearts and minds with its bridge-building model connecting the youth, companies and training providers.

November 9, 2020

In a unique move and acknowledgement of the effectiveness of work-based learning, the central Serbian city of Čačak has signed an agreement with the "Education to Employment " (E2E) project to co-fund training to increase the employability of its youth. Partnering with the private sector, E2E organises on-the-job training for young people seeking work in companies from target areas across Serbia, including Čačak. This is the first time in the project’s more than four-year implementation that any entity other than the main donors – the governments of Switzerland and Serbia – has stepped forward with financial support.

Designed to create preconditions for faster employment of youth, E2E also recently won first prize at the fifth national Euroguidance competition of “Good Practices in the Field of Career Guidance and Counseling”. A network of national resource and information centres for career guidance and counseling activities, Euroguidance recognised E2E’s approach to and tools for supporting young people in making informed decisions about education, career planning and how to prepare for the labour market. Developed with the support of Swiss experts in this field, E2E’s tools are aimed at improving career management skills and delivered by trained career practitioners through a combination of direct and online work.

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One-on-one career guidance ad counselling.

Pledging money as a sign of confidence

In the MoU, the city of Čačak committed to contribute 30% of the funding needed to facilitate the  selection, training and employment of 50 young people with local employers. In addition to this amount, employers provide additional funds from their own resources necessary to deliver work-based learning training on their premises.

A pilot project was carried out in Čačak in 2019 with the company Stax, which delivered excellent results and confirmed that organising such trainings is the right way for unemployed young people to get a job more easily. The city’s mayor Milun Todorović remarked that not only did the pilot enable Stax to find and employ the right staff, but it also allowed young people to acquire new knowledge and skills that enabled them to stay in Čačak, the biggest goal of his administration.

The Deputy Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Serbia, Derek George, congratulated the city of Čačak on its visionary decision to provide financial resources to the project. “We believe that Čačak’s interest is obvious. They want to engage as many young people as possible in business through programmes like E2E and stay here for the benefit of the entire local community,” he said.

This is an exceptional day for Čačak, especially for the young people of Čačak, who will – thanks to the Swiss Government and an excellent NGO project – get a chance to gain valuable training in renowned and high-standing local companies and acquire knowledge, skills and experiences that will make their path to employment easier.

Mayor of Čačak, Milun Todorović, at the signing ceremony.

E2E’s goal is to increase the employability and employment of young people and indirectly support faster, sustainable and more inclusive economic development of Serbia. The programme aims to encourage, support and offer a model of lasting cooperation between local governments, schools, civil society organisations and businesses in order to provide young people with the opportunity to learn those skills that are required in the labour market and thus find lasting jobs sooner.

During the first phase of the project, 1,060 young people went through 61 work-based-learning training programmes and another 350 young people from hard-to-place groups received assistance on the way to work. More than 60% of young people are employed after training.

Learn more about E2E here.


companies participated in the implementation of WBL trainings, providing on average 50% of the financing.


partners from both the public sector and civil society are participating in the E2E project.

Get in touch

Oliver Streit

Oliver Streit

Sector Lead Education, Skills & Employment

Stuttgart, Germany

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