Young people gain insights on future professions through visits to companies

The Prilike initiative

UNICEF Crna Gora
Nekoliko mladih ljudi u laboratoriji
UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2016

25 October 2016

PODGORICA, 25 OCTOBER 2016 - Youth unemployment in Montenegro is a problem and needs to be further addressed in order to improve the chances of young people to get a job, said UNICEF Representative in Montenegro, Benjamin Perks.

Together with the Deputy Minister of Education, Veljko Tomic, Perks presented the pilot initiative Prilike, which was initiated by UNICEF in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, with the aim to provide support for the transition of adolescents from education system into the labour market.

General director of the Directorate for General Secondary, Secondary Vocational and Adult Education in the Ministry of Education Veljko Tomic speaking at the event in Podgorica
UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2016
General director of the Directorate for General Secondary, Secondary Vocational and Adult Education in the Ministry of Education Veljko Tomic speaking at the event in Podgorica

The challenge is the youth unemployment rate, which is twice as high than the general unemployment rate. This is why the Ministry will continue to improve the teaching process and modernization of educational programs. Our goal is to create new and different educational opportunities for youth, and therefore employment opportunities as well, and to encourage their active participation in all spheres of social life.

Veljko Tomic, Deputy Minister of Education

The pilot initiative Prilike aims to improve the system in which adolescents and young people in Montenegro are seeking for employment, since the official data shows the high rate of youth unemployment - over 38 per cent of young people are unemployed, while 70 per cent of them are looking for a job for more than a year.

Benjamin Perks, UNICEF Representative to Montenegro
UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2016
UNICEF Representative to Montenegro Benjamin Perks during the launching of the initiative “Prilike”

Data points to the fact that we should be doing more to boost chances of employment for adolescents and youth, and we should be engaging with them as early as during their secondary education. We believe we can do more for Montenegrin youth. We are responsible for choosing the opportunities we create for the generations growing up in our society.

Benjamin Perks, UNICEF Representative to Montenegro

Eric Burger, a consultant in the Giant's Shoulder company from the United Kingdom, said the adolescents from all parts of Montenegro will be able to engage with up to three different industries through one-day job shadowing.

"Studies have shown that students which have any prior work experience in any company, act more seriously and responsibly when they try to find work. They invest more effort in their job application, more effort when they are preparing for the job interview, they also do better at those interviews because they know what it means to look for a job," Burger said.

Starting from November, Burger announced, they will start with the visits throughout Montenegro, but in a way to enable students from the North to visit companies at the coast,  and students from the coast to visit companies based in Podgorica. In parallel with that, this initiative will focus on communication with teachers for the selection process of the graduates.

Montenegrin high school students believe that this initiative is of great importance for young people in the country.

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High school pupil Balsa Vujosevic talks about the importance of this initiative for young people in the country
UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2016
High school pupil Balsa Vujosevic talks about the importance of this initiative for young people in the country

"Through this initiative, we have the opportunity to deal with the problem we face, which is the constant gap between theory and practice. In general, when young people decide upon their occupation, they form all of their knowledge based on theory,“ said Sanja Crvenica, a high-school pupil from Podgorica.

Her peer Balsa Vujosevic agrees and adds: "I am sorry that some young people did not have the chance to go through three different companies and choose what to study."

"When I was choosing which faculty to attend, back in 2013, I tried to obtain some information in every possible way, because I knew that I was starting a very important period that will have a big impact on my life. This is why I think it is great that young people from all parts of Montenegro will have a chance to visit companies, be introduced to a variety of industries which they can choose later, and that they will have this opportunity in the crucial time when they are choosing their faculties,“ student Jelena Vujisic said.

The Prilike initiative is a part of a broader United Nations programme for youth empowerment called Kreaktivacija, with the aim to create environment that will empower and motivate young people to use existing and create new opportunities for both personal, and growth and development of the entire society.