Video News Release

Working Together to Boost Youth Employment in Serbia

Serbia was hit hard by the global economic crisis, particularly its young people, who are living a “crisis within the crisis”. Often what they learned in school doesn’t match what employers are looking for, making it hard for them to find work. It’s worse for young people who didn’t do well in school, or dropped out. But in Serbia, the government, trade unions and employers, working together, have designed new policy interventions to give young people, especially those with low levels of education, a chance to find a decent job and keep it.

Date issued: 31 December 2010 | Size/duration: 00:02:28


In Serbia young people were particularly hard hit by the global economic crisis. Over a third are unemployed, and for those who have found work one out of three are in temporary or informal, unprotected jobs.

Zlatko Panić, National Employment Service, Subotica (in Serbian):

“The labour market is becoming more demanding: employers require specific competencies and select their workers carefully.”

There’s an innovative new idea to meet this changing demand.

Thanks to a pilot project funded by Italy, Serbian trade unions prepared a

training tool targeting young people most at risk for long term unemployment.

But “The Facilitator’s guide and Toolkit to promote Youth Rights@Work” goes beyond that: it’s also intended to get all kinds of young people off to a strong start in the world of work.

Jelena Radiša, Trainer, Nezavisnost Trade Union Confederation (in Serbian):

“Through this project we have been able to obtain a toolkit that can be of use not only to the trade unions but also to civil society organizations that want to help young people make their first working experience positive, and everything that later follows.”

Italy’s funding also supports an initiative by Serbia’s National Employment Service, connecting young people with limited opportunities for education directly with employers, who train them on the job.

Kristina is disabled; now she’s training for a job as a sales assistant.

Kristina Stojićević, Job Trainee (in Serbian):

“I’ve been registered at the employment service for a long time. Then they called me and asked me if I wanted to accept this training offer and I said that I do.”

Kristina’s supervisor is happy with her performance on the job.

Goran Milić, Training Supervisor (in Serbian):

“She carries out every task, just as we do, everything concerning trading, selling, working with clients, maintenance of the shop. This is just the beginning.”

Next, Kristina will be trained in basic bookkeeping and as a cashier, ensuring she has a wide range of skills to make her more valued in the job market.

Kristina’s story shows that even in tough times, decent work is possible for everyone.