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STRENGTHENING YOUTH CAREER CAPACITIES DURING EPIDEMIC CRISIS IN SERBIA

The project STRENGTHENING YOUTH CAREER CAPACITIES DURING EPIDEMIC CRISIS ended successfully and the main goal of this Project was achieved – strengthening capacities of participants to acquire management skills that are important in times of crisis, entrepreneurial skills and skills that are in high demand and transferable in the labor market. This was done through online workshops divided in 4 modules 1. Running Projects, 2. Leadership, 3. Communication and Sales and 4. Interview and CV, and the Manual.

Project description and implementation

Since the outbreak of COVID, there has been a sudden need among (future) entrepreneurs or unemployed people for information on how to open or maintain a business during the crisis or how to find a job, especially for start-ups without experience and for young people.

According to the National Plan for Employment in Serbia, one of the priorities of employment policy is to improve the situation of young people in the labor market. The main problem is the high youth unemployment rate (34.2% of young people aged 15-30), which is partly due to the great inactivity of young people (50.6% of young people aged 15-30) in the labor market. The situation is similar in countries close to Serbia.
A specific problem identified is that young people’s entrepreneurship and the transferable skills needed for careers are not sufficiently developed. The contribution of entrepreneurship and career transferable skills to reducing youth unemployment is not sufficiently recognized.

The aim of this project is to encourage young people to adopt a proactive attitude through non-formal education and experiential learning. This project enables the affirmation and improvement of the business activities of young entrepreneurs and the reduction of poverty. The project is in line with the strategic documents in the youth field: the Youth Law, the National Youth Strategy for the period 2015-2025 and the National Employment Strategy.

The participants of this project included youth unemployed people, with a desire for entrepreneurship or in search for a job/better job position. The main goal of this Project was reached – strengthening capacities of participants to acquire management skills important in crisis, entrepreneurial skills and skills that are highly required on job market and are transferable. This was done through online workshops divided in 4 modules 1. Running Projects, 2. Leadership, 3. Communication and Sales and 4. Interview and CV.

Project outcomes

The objectives of the seminars were achieved: understanding the concept of a business plan and acquiring practical skills that allowed participants to independently develop a business plan for their own entrepreneurial idea; learning skills that are in high demand in the job market, but that they did not acquire at the faculty, from the first stage of interviewing for a job/project/ subsidies to the skills needed for most positions or later as entrepreneurs: Leadership, achievement motivation and inner critic, time management, negotiation, presentation and communication skills, and project writing. The project contributed to the promotion of entrepreneurship.

Result of workshops on themes entrepreneurship/project writing and career skills like leadership, sales techniques and interview skills is strengthened capacity of 50 young people in these skills. At every workshop there were 7 do 15 participants, but some of them were at more workshops. As part of this project activity there were written 12 project proposals for starting new business also.

A Youth (Self)Employment and Empowerment manual has also been developed, containing all the information from the training sessions so that participants can refer to all the information later in their working lives when needed. The manual enables young people to take some of the steps necessary to realize their entrepreneurial ideas or develop job transferable skills.

Project is addressed by Cluster 2: Training sessions for volunteers and WBAA activists – career development and project or entrepreneurship skills. Participants learned skills that are highly sought after in the job market but ones they did not get at faculty, from the first phase of an interview for a job/project/subsidies to the skills needed for most positions or later like an entrepreneur: leadership skills, motivation for achievement and inner critic, time management, negotiation, presentation and communication skills and project writing.

Project writing and running can help entrepreneurs to get funds, but it is also required as desirable careers skill for many lob positions. Leadership skill are needed when you have your own firm or if you want to be a team leader in some company. Some relate to skills in sales or starting points with interview for a job or fund.

SONJA SOVLJANSKI , project coordinator, edited by super provider

04.02.2022

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