UNICEF Supports youth employability through innovative policies

Young people to participate more actively in the society

UNICEF Montenegro
High school students making a selfie
UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2016

16 May 2016

PODGORICA, 16 May 2016 – Almost half of the youth population in Montenegro remains stuck in the school-to-work transition – 45 per cent have not started this transition yet, while only 16 per cent have completed it. This was pointed out today at a round table about employability of young people in Montenegro, which was organized by UNICEF and partners.

UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Zorica Kovacevic, Minister of Education Predrag Boskovic and UNICEF Consultant Sladjana Petkovic at the round table on youth employability in Podgorica in May 2016 (from left to right)
UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2016
UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Zorica Kovacevic, Minister of Education Predrag Boskovic and UNICEF Consultant Sladjana Petkovic at the round table on youth employability in Podgorica in May 2016 (from left to right)

The economy is changing so much, decade by decade, that we can’t really say what kind of jobs today’s high schoolers will be doing just ten years from now, because those jobs have not been invented yet. But, we are learning more what works for young people entering the job market. We have to encourage young people to become more innovative in overcoming challenges.

Benjamin Perks, UNICEF Representative to Montenegro

“Montenegro is among countries with relatively high youth unemployment rates. It is true that in European Union there are countries with higher youth unemployment rates, but this is not something we should be happy about. We need to find a way to enable young people to use their creativity and potential, which surely are peaking at that age, in well-paid positions,” Minister of Education Predrag Boskovic said at the round table.

Data indicates that youth employment is one of the key priorities of Montenegro in the field of education, employment and economic development, considering that it presents a significant indicator of sustainable socio-economic growth.

However, it is clear that there are various obstacles to the process of creation and implementation of programs and services directed at supporting youth employment, on both the supply and demand sides.

According to Zorica Kovacevic, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, better employability of young people increases their chances to become successful and healthy individuals.

Investing in the development young people’s skills and in the improvement of their employability plays a key role in the integration of youth into the labour market.

Zorica Kovacevic, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare
Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Zorica Kovacevic
UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2016
Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Zorica Kovacevic speaking at the round table on employability of youth in Montenegro

According to the representatives of young people at the round table, the lack of information about job opportunities and the lack of chances to develop various skills outside schools are the key obstacles to finding a job.

“I feel that the biggest problem lies in the fact that young people are not informed. What needs to be developed are services which support youth in informal education. Such services would help them find a job and work in future. For example, youth needs information about where and how to reach employers,” said Filip Trojanovic from the Herceg Novi Youth Center.

“What Pljevlja’s youth is missing the most is a local action plan for youth, which would support young people to accomplish whatever they wish. We want to take part directly in creating that local action plan in order to make sure that our needs are communicated clearly,” said Jelena Lukovic, from the Pljevlja Youth Club.

The round table was organized based on UNICEF’s analysis of existing services and programs directed at supporting better employability of youth. According to Ajsa Hadzibegovic, facilitator of the round table, this analysis has shown that a better integration of services is needed, as well as consideration of the voices of youth. Sladjana Petkovic, UNICEF consultant, agreed and pointed out that the analysis shows that young people are ready to contribute to this process. “The analysis indicates that young people want to take responsibility and initiative and work with their peers. Also, existing programs prove that young people are the best role models for their peers,” Petkovic emphasized.

UNICEF’s analysis of existing programmes and services supporting young people’s employability is part of the comprehensive program “Creactivation”, implemented by the UN system in Montenegro, with the aim of providing young people with better conditions to participate more actively in the society.

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