Commitment to continue work-based learning in Serbia reinforced

E2E Oliver Streit Signing The Mou With Mayor Of Kraljevo, Dr Predrag Terzic

E2E Project Director (right) Oliver Streit signing the Mou with Mayor of Kraljevo, Dr Predrag Terzic

For the second time, a Serbian local government has signed a Cooperation Agreement with the 'Education to Employment' project, ensuring joint support for increasing the employability of youth

September 14, 2021

Mayor of Kraljevo in central Serbia, Dr. Predrag Terzić, has signed his name to a commitment to jointly fund the 'Education to Employment' (E2E) project in his city. E2E, an eight-year partnership project between Switzerland and Serbia that helps young people acquire new competencies and jobs, has proven to be highly successful. Statistics show that 90% of those who underwent training through this programme in Kraljevo got a job afterwards.

Under the Cooperation Agreement, Kraljevo will contribute 10% of the needed funds for work-based learning (WBL) trainings targeted at up to 200 young people. The total value of funds for on-the-job training programs in Kraljevo so far is €128,000. The programme facilitates the process of selecting, training, and employing new employees for companies. As they also benefit from the programme, employers contribute funds to support WBL training on their premises (currently about €116,000).

Kraljevo is the second city in Serbia to sign such an agreement. Last year, the city of Čačak signed a similar commitment. These agreements are a positive sign that trainings for young people are slowly becoming sustainable solutions, in which companies and local self-government participate. The model piloted by the E2E project, as a collaboration between the private and public sectors, with the support of civil society, has the potential to come to life across the country.

This is an exceptional day for Kraljevo, especially for its young people, 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, acquiring knowledge, skills and experiences that will make their path to employment easier.

Dr. Predrag Terzić, Mayor of Kraljevo

During the signing ceremony, Dr. Terzic said the city of Kraljevo is actively working on measures to reduce unemployment. The WBL training means a lot to the city of Kraljevo and young people who have not had the opportunity to get a job so far or for those who are still seeking a trade they will succeed at. The mayor was optimistic that the E2E project will encourage employment in the city.

"I want young people to get involved in this project and very quickly acquire new knowledge and skills and stay here in Kraljevo, which is our biggest goal," Terzic emphasised.

Derek George, Deputy Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office, Embassy of the Swiss Confederation in the Republic of Serbia, expressed support for Kraljevo's decision to dedicate financial resources to E2E. "The city of Kraljevo has recognised the need to participate in such an activity and thus help young people from its territory on the path to quality employment. Previous project experiences in the companies Elektromontaža, Leoni, Radijator and Pomak have shown that this model is useful and that the local economy is strengthened through the increasingly active engagement of young people who are building the future in their local communities," George said.

E2E Oliver Streit Signing The Mou With Mayor Of Kraljevo, Predrag Terzic
Mayor of Kraljevo, Dr. Predrag Terzić (left), together with Oliver Streit, E2E Project Director

E2E is in its third call with a total value of €14.3 million for 8 years of project implementation.

During the first project phase (2016-2019), 1060 young people went through 61 WBL 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, in which 128 companies participated, co-financing the trainings with an average of 50%. In addition, 30 partners from both the public sector and civil society have participated in E2E. The project also envisages support for young people in school and those who are looking for employment through career guidance and counselling services, for which Switzerland set aside €1 million in the second phase.

In the second phase of the project, Switzerland and Serbia continue to jointly contribute to its realisation – the Government of Switzerland with €7.5 million and the Government of Serbia with €4.5 million.

Oliver Streit

Oliver Streit

Sector Lead Education, Skills & Employment

Stuttgart, Germany