Youth employment with EU support

Some 500 long-term unemployed young people between the ages of 18 and 35, will have an opportunity to participate in training for acquiring new skills and professional orientation. The “Your Job” project, funded by the European Union, aims to increase the employability of young people in the cross-border area of BiH and Montenegro, both through professional orientation, quality professional guidance, first work experience, and entrepreneurial practice, as well as through encouraging dialogue between young people, organizations civil society, companies and public institutions.

In this regard, a three-year project to support the employment of young people and the creation of new employment opportunities in the border area was presented today in Sarajevo by Project managers in BiH and Montenegro, Miroslav Valenta, Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as a representative of the Delegation of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina Edbera Biković, program manager for IPA cross-border projects.

The European Union has allocated significant financial resources for development and employment incentives. Including the cross-border cooperation program Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro with 8.4 million Euros for the period 2014-2020; for joint projects in the employment, environmental protection and tourism sectors. Regional cooperation is an important model in solving common issues such as support for youth employment. We expect that such opportunities created by EU-supported projects will be recognized and give citizens a benefit“, said Edbera Biković, program manager for IPA cross-border projects.

The Your Job project is part of a broader effort by the European Union, Caritas and our partners to support employability and employment opportunities for young people. These and similar projects intend to make it easier for young people, as well as other vulnerable groups, to enter the labor market by strengthening their competencies and skills, providing timely professional orientation, providing first work experience and starting their own company. These efforts will be complemented by the gathering of a wider coalition of non-governmental and governmental organizations in order to point out the necessary systemic reforms in the field of employment,” said the project manager for Caritas BiH Miroslav Valenta.

In the project, 12 counsellors will be educated for the “competency passport”, who will work directly with young people and local businesses on a daily basis. Additionally, within the project activities, young people will receive business counselling to start their own, sustainable business through self-employment, and with the help of a counsellor, establish contacts with employers and complete an internship, i.e. their first work experience. The project will also work on establishing a dialogue for harmonizing needs and resources between civil society organizations, companies and institutions.

Fifty participants from stakeholders dealing with youth employment programs from the project region, representatives of donors and other partner organizations took part in the conference.

The European Union, through the IPA II BiH – Montenegro cross-border cooperation program, finances the “Your Job” project with grants of around 360,000 euros. Your Job project is implemented by Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with partners: Mozaik Foundation and Association for the Development of Competences “S.K.I.L.L.S.” from Sarajevo (BiH), as well as with Caritas of the Archdiocese of Bar and Business Start Center Bar (Montenegro).