Local employment partnerships

Young entrepreneurs and innovators supported by ILO mark Europe Day in Bosnia and Herzegovina

To celebrate Europe Day in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Mr. Christian Danielsson, Director General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission and Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Head of the EU Delegation to BiH and EU Special Representative visited the “Center for development of innovations and entrepreneurship” in Sarajevo to see how the center works and meet with students.

News | 05 June 2019

© Miralem Dizdarevic

The Center was established and equipped within the Secondary School of Electrical Engineering in Sarajevo under the project "New employment strategies at the local level". ILO supported the Center through the program “Local Employment Partnerships (LEPs) in Bosnia and Herzegovina” funded by the European Union and implemented by ILO. The LEP in Sarajevo aimed to increase job opportunities for the long-term unemployed in the Canton, establish a functional model for innovations and entrepreneurship in IT for young people, and create a strategic framework for employment and sustainable local partnership.

Under the first objective, the LEP in Sarajevo Canton managed 

•    to train 60 active job seekers (14 women, 49 young people) in competitive skills in the labour market i.e. IT programming, CNC operation, physiotherapy and cosmetics, driving, car mechanics and electrics, and traffic engineering, and
•    to employ 42 people (11 women) in Sarajevo. 

The Center has been equipped with new computers and mechanic tools which enable the development of innovations and entrepreneurship in the IT sector for youth, and education for unemployed persons in basic IT skills.  In less than two years, more than 100 workshops were implemented in the Center and a group of 30 students managed to promote three innovations and 8 business ideas with business plans.  In addition, three cycles of education and 15 Info Days for the unemployed were organized in cooperation with the Employment Service.

Young electrical engineers presented a selection of over 50 award-winning innovations to Director General Danielsson and Ambassador Wigemark, including a Rover robot, based on the NASA Mars Rover, and a pothole filler, designed to improve road quality in BiH. The guests had an opportunity to try them out themselves, since the gadgets are fully functional and mobile.

“We are very happy to be here on the 9th of May, Europe Day, which is special to us. It is the day when we remember history but also the lessons we have learned, and the need to cherish every day the values for which we stand. It is good to have that in mind today and also to look to the future. I am sure that by the time I return to visit you the next time I am in Bosnia and Herzegovina, your innovations will be successful and will create prosperity for you, your peers and your country”, said Director General Danielsson to the students.

“What you showed us today, and the standards you apply to electronics, mobile communication, and digitalization, are the future of this country. We need people who have a practical understanding of how things work. There is a tradition of electrical engineering in this country, we see that people are entrepreneurial, that is why we supported this Centre. This brings us together; the Europe you will live in will be different from what it is today, and it is therefore important that you are prepared and ready to be engaged and be a part of something bigger than yourself”, said Ambassador Wigemark.

During a discussion with the students, Ambassador Wigemark and Director-General Danielsson stressed the importance of youth engagement and the entrepreneurial spirit of youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and across Europe as well.