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Endorsed by the embassies of Austria, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland

Human Resources

Dual and Vocational Education Training (VET) Systems


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From Good Practice to High Quality Law

The first positive experiences with dual education – among interested parents, local governments and schools – have shown that Serbia has the capacity and enthusiasm for change and tangible results - young people who acquire jobs immediately after leaving the classroom. Now it is important, with the assistance of donor countries, to make such a systemic framework that will make these kinds of results permanent


umerous countries, including those Thus, the first signal that the existing VET The experience of donor countries shows that have multiple-year training proeducation system did not offer good solutions that for the success of such an initiative it grammes for skilled trade professions, (although it was also previously built on the is extremely important to have cooperation just like Serbia, have responded to high German model) came from foreign investors, between the Ministry of Education, the National Employment Service, trade unions, the youth unemployment by embarking on a deep who – despite the competitive price of labour Serbian Chamber of Commerce & Industry and reorganisation of their school system, relying on – had trouble finding skilled, qualified workers. the economy as a whole. Each of these has the most successful models of Austria, Germany, Fortunately, through donor assistance from their own role to play in the designDenmark, Norway and Switzerland, ing, analysing and constructing of where well-established education is high-quality education programmes, the key to low unemployment and the which, apart from school desks, rely high efficiency and competitiveness of primarily on practical work in compatheir economies. nies. The last factor highlights the exExpert knowledge and experience ceptional responsibility of the Serbian have actually become among the most Chamber of Commerce & Industry and sought-after export products of these companies that must build their own countries. high-quality educational facilities and Although at first glance this appears offer work-placement students the to be about a simple task, somewhat kind of knowledge that they will be improved teaching programmes for metal grinders, welders, seamstresses, tailors and shoemakers, with more The experience of donor countries shows that for the success of practical experience with companies, the introduction of dual education is such an initiative it is extremely important to have cooperation actually, according to the experience between the Ministry of Education, the National Employment of successful countries, an extremely Service, trade unions, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce & complex task that requires political Industry, and the economy as a whole and social consensus, as well as close cooperation between social partners able to use, not only in the companies where and strong expertise that will form the basis to Switzerland, Germany and Austria, and then they carry out their training, but also beyond, essentially manage this system and constantly expert assistance from Scandinavian countries, in a relevant profession. innovate it to meet the needs of the economy Serbia was given the opportunity to gain access The first positive experience – with interested and the wider objectives of educating part of to knowledge that would allow it, without major parents, governments and schools – showed the young generation. roaming, to build a dual education system that that Serbia has the capacity and enthusiasm Following the experimental phase, Serbia could potentially bring it significant economic for change and tangible results - young people should this year also establish a defined legal and social benefits – a higher employment who acquire jobs immediately after leaving framework for the introduction of dual educarate, especially among young people, and a tion in the country’s education system. the classroom. Now it is important, with the higher quality business environment in which, The national economy’s interest in a highly assistance of donor countries, to make such a under partial reindustrialisation dependent on skilled labour force subsided with the reduction systemic framework that will make these kinds foreign and domestic investors, emerges a far of industrial production in Serbia in the 1980s. of results permanent.  more efficient economic system. HUMAN RESOURCES DUAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRAINING (VET) SYSTEMS

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Human Resources

Dual and Vocational Education Training (VET) Systems Exclusive edition produced in cooperation with the embassies of Austria, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland



















ART DIRECTOR Jasmina Laković PHOTOS Zoran Petrović

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PROJECT MANAGERS Aleksandra Ebilji Ljiljana Knežević Biljana Dević Nataša Trifunović Lidija Carević




TRANSLATION AND EDITING Halifax Translation Services








EDITOR Ana Novčić




EDITORIAL aim team





OFFICE MANAGER Svetlana Petrović





PRINTING Rotografika d.o.o. Segedinski put 72, Subotica, Serbia

Published by: alliance international media Makenzijeva 67, 11111 Belgrade 17,



PAK 126909, Serbia Phone: +(381 11) 2450 508 Fascimile: +(381 11) 2450 122 E-mail: ISSN no: 1451-7833 All rights reserved alliance international media 2016



Companies Will Have the Workers They Need The Chamber will play an active role during all implementation phases of the new vocational education model: by assessing the needs of the economy for existing and new occupations; keeping a register of accredited jobs; education; organising exams; licensing mentors and supervising contracts between companies and students




he dual education project has reached a milestone at which it should pass from a pilot phase into the regular education system. The next step, and a precondition for that, is establishing a new regulatory framework, says CCIS President Marko Čadež. The proposed draft of a new Law on dual education was created this January and should be adopted by mid-year. At the same time, the necessary amendments of other laws should be completed in order to precisely define the rights and obligations of all participants in the Serbian dual education model, with its full implementation planned for the start of the 2017/18 academic year.

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• How is the SCC taking part in that process? - In cooperation with industry, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbian has identified the necessary changes to the regulatory framework and the way of implementing vocational education, as good groundwork to start creating legislative solutions for the dual education model. We have taken an active part in drafting the first version of that future law. At this stage, during implementation and later in realising dual education, the CCIS will represent a link between businesses and the state, i.e. the educational authorities, in order to adjust the education system to the needs of industry and the modern market, to educate the youth for professions needed on the market and to enable them to become integrated with production processes after finishing school. The new vocational education model will be constantly evaluated and assessed by the CCIS, in order to identify changes in requirements of the industry and new job profiles, and to analyse the possibility of introducing new educational profiles for such occupations under the dual model. The CCIS will maintain a Register of accredited jobs. It will organise education and exams, certify mentors and maintain a register for


them. It will supervise the contracts companies conclude with students or with their parents. It will take part in professional orientation programmes for primary school pupils... • How up-to-date is the data on the needs of the economy that the CCIS, NES and the Ministry of Education have, and how will it be updated in future? - When the enrolment plan for high schools in the next school year is drafted, a new methodology will be implemented based on a consideration of the current and development requirements of the economy at the local, regional and national levels. The enrolment plan is being jointly developed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, in cooperation with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities. In cooperation with representatives of local government authorities and the National Employment Service, the goal of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia and its regional offices is to assess the real needs of the economy and collect data on required and lacking profiles. The information we receive from companies, through questionnaires and direct contacts, is the basis on which we create the enrolment policies and enrolment plans for municipalities or cities. In this way we acquire the most accurate data on the profile requirements of companies, which will be updated annually. In addition, the SCC has established sector groups with the task of defining the needs of the economy for skills and profiles, to overcome the shortcomings of the formal education system through informal education, and to identify educational profiles that need to be modernised or cancelled, and new ones to be introduced.

- Companies currently demand mostly production workers. These are mostly three-year intermediate occupational profiles in the construction industry (carpenters, re-bar benders, masons, joiners, tilers), textile industry (tailors, seamstresses), electrical and mechanical industry, meat industry... For many of these professions, students can still be educated in the classic education system, or through projects organized according to the dual model, but unfortunately the children are not motivated enough for such profiles. Although modern production is essentially automated, working conditions in those factories are safe and such jobs are better paid than the Serbian average, students and especially their parents have the wrong perception of occupational profiles in production. So it is important that we dedicate special focus on the promotion of these

• What is the experience of students The new vocational education model will be constantly evaluated and and companies that took part in the pilot project for dual education? assessed by the SCC, to identify changes in the demands of the economy - Both companies and students and new job vocations, and to analyse the possibility of introducing new have recognised the multiple beneducational profiles for such occupations under the dual model efits of this educational model. Companies have gained workers profiles in future, because the dual education model can only with competencies needed for particular jobs. Students gained be efficient if there are enough students for occupations that new skills more easily, progressing quicker and further than in companies really need. the classic vocational education model. At the same time,they received remuneration for their work in those companies and • Are domestic companies showing enough interest in getwere quicker in finding employment in companies where they ting involved in this educational model, and what is your opinwere in training. For example, the Robert Bosch Company has ion of their technical and professional capacities for joining already hired all students of the Milenko Verkić Neša Technical School in Pećinci who did their vocational training at that the process? company and graduated last June, as the first dual model - Thanks to the realisation of the pilot project, supported by generation for the Industrial Mechanic profile. Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the national companies have started to recognise the benefits of the dual education model, • According to current data, which occupational profiles are which has raised their motivation to get involved in educating the most sought-after in industry, but are not being educatthe workforce based on this model. Large and medium-sized ed in our system? enterprises were the first to adopt the innovation, and gradually


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more and more small companies, even individual entrepreneurs, are becoming motivated to accept students at their production facilities and train them for the occupations they need in a real-life working environment. Naturally, technical capacities in companies are definitely better than those in vocational schools, because to survive in the market companies must keep pace with the competition, which means they must continually invest as much as they can afford, in tools, equipment, technology, product development, marketing. Unfortunately, high schools don’t have the means to keep pace with the dynamics of all technical advances in produc-

of schools and companies, where educational workers would be engaged in those companies as mentors and have shorter working hours in their schools because of the transfer of training practice to the companies. • Currently, the schools educate those occupational profiles that directly correspond to the requirements of mostly foreign companies operating in the vicinity. Does it carry a certain risk, knowing that the investors could decide at any given moment to move their business to a country with a more competitive workforce? - If we accept such a mindset, the question could be “What if a local company goes bankrupt or changes its field of work?” Foreign companies operate here in the same way as local companies, and are a part of our economy. The fact that they are willing to invest in human resources and bear the costs of dual education which will largely be relying on the industry, is actually a proof of their intention to expand their businesses, make further investment, plan their stay here in the long term. When identifying lacking occupations or profiles and introducing them into the education system, we interview and consult both companies with foreign capital and domestic companies that tend to have the same or similar workforce requirements as foreign investors do. After all, the dual education pilot project currently involves more than 40 companies, both foreign - such as Bosch, Siemens and Fiat, and domestic, such as Inmold, Milanović Engineering, Amiga, Energotehnika-Južna Bačka. • How can the CCIS help companies find the necessary workforce, plan their staffing requirements better, and develop and manage human resources more efficiently? - Chambers of commerce play an important role in the development and implementation of professional education and training policies. The CCIS also has a long tradition of organising seminars, courses and workshops, with a range of programmes designed according to the specific needs of entrepreneurs and adjusted to changes in the business and regulatory environment. In future we will focus on promoting the importance of business education, developing a method for identifying the training needs and conducting impact analysis of the effects of the training on work performance. We will improve cooperation with the National Employment Service in organising additional education and training programmes so that job seekers can acquire new knowledge, skills and work experience, and so employers can find the workers they need. For this year, there is a plan to establish a Business Academy, offering programmes not found in formal education, which will significantly improve the competencies of workers, raising their competitiveness and employment opportunities. ■

For this year, there is a plan to found a Business Academy, with programmes not found in formal education, which will significantly improve the competences of workers, raising their competitiveness and employment opportunities tion, even though some of them have received donations from companies, had their facilities renovated and continually get supplied with the necessary machines and materials. Training practice in school workshops cannot properly substitute real life working conditions, where students are taught to produce something or to provide a certain service, but also to adopt rules of behaviour in the workplace, teamwork, business ethics, communication, responsibility. These are essential skills and knowledge for a high quality workforce, as much as the knowledge acquired in the classroom. Apart from technical capacities, companies must also provide mentors to work with the students, previously trained staff. Since the Serbian economy is dominated by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, many of them would like to participate in the dual model but cannot spare an employee to be a trainer, because of the small number of employees. This issue could be addressed by cooperation

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Developing a Winning Team

Through careful selection and training based on long and worldwide experience, Coca-Cola HBC Serbia achieves exceptional results, generating a keen interest among the Serbian youth in becoming part of this successful team


oca Cola HBC’s profitable strategy is based on modern HR management principles. These begin with effective selection, high quality training, teamwork and incentives, and provide the opportunity for continuous promotion in the company hierarchy.

tion among youth looking for a job, positions in your company command a huge interest. Can you tell us something about the process of selecting recruits? - Selection of recruits in Coca-Cola HBC Serbia includes several phases. At the very beginning we focus on whether a candidate fulfils the conditions of each job vacancy, such as education, professional experience, driving license etc. The next step includes online tests evaluating specific competencies (work attitude, customer orientation...). Then there

themselves additionally develop their skills through interesting simulations. • From the viewpoint of a large company, what would you add to the education system to strengthen the pool of young people for quicker engagement in production? - In our selection process, we perceive that it would be of great help for youth to study modern business within the education system. In the simulations I mentioned in our selection process, we notice that young people can successfully track and identify

• Coca-Cola HBC Serbia employs around 1,000 people in Serbia. To what degree are the principles of hiring new staff harmonised with Coca-Cola global standards? - We have a large team in Serbia and I can tell you that enthusiasm, commitment, innovativeness and continuous drive In 2016 alone, each staff member had more than 26 hours of for innovation are shared values, not only of our local staff, but in all 28 additional training, which best confirms how we build, develop countries where we operate. We offer and create a winning team our staff stimulating conditions and a working environment where everyone is an assessment of motivation, expectations a problem, but lack the readiness to make highcan develop and grow, and that’s a condition for and proficiency in English if that is one of the quality and courageous decisions that influence setting up a great team anywhere in the world. requirements. What follows is an evaluation of business operations. That is why we launch our own We also provide them with additional education competencies and conduct that are relevant to initiatives and share our experience and knowhow and opportunities to expand their knowledge the specific job. This step involves participation in cooperation with universities. This provides and maximise their potential. In 2016 alone, in simulations of real situations, showing us youth with an opportunity to master key skills, each staff member had more than 26 hours of how a candidate acts in potential scenarios. first for entering, then for successful positioning additional training, which best confirms how we The candidates whose profiles match the in, the modern business world in various areas: build, develop and create a winning team. Support required profile are invited to an interview. marketing, sales, finance, logistics... The results to professional youth development is one of the This process may seem complicated, but the we accomplish are excellent and in the last several strategic areas in our support to the community. selection of high quality people is of huge imyears 30 participants of the Coke Summership proportance and we invest a lot of time and effort gramme gained jobs in the company. The fact that • According to an Infostud survey, Coca-Cola in selecting the right people for our team. The in 2016 we had more than 1,500 candidates applying HBC Serbia is again the most desirable employer in 2016. With your traditionally high reputacandidates’ feedback also confirms that they for the programme confirms how attractive it is. ■


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Our People Are Our Best Asset HEINEKEN employs 73,000 people in over 70 countries worldwide. The company does business in all kinds of different markets, which makes it difficult to establish a universal HR management strategy. The solution is to adjust it and act according to the local business environment. HEINEKEN's global team defines the basic guidelines, but has a flexible approach and adapts them to local markets


he HR function has also been transforming over the years, influenced by new generations and new market trends. Nowadays, HR professionals are expected to have knowledge from other functions, so they can contribute to companies’ business agendas. Having said that, HR should not have the same approach to all employees, but rather needs to use a tailor-made approach based on different motivating

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factors, and to approach each employee individually, while remaining within the boundaries of a pre-defined framework. Successful companies use coaching to improve performance and job satisfaction, so we do our best to train our line managers to manage their teams as effectively as possible. When it comes to specific HR activities, it all depends on the stage of a business life cycle. A start-up or a recent acquisition will not do the same things


as a mature organisation that has been in business for several years. When it comes to the labour market, skilled and educated workers are unfortunately a challenge to find in Serbia, as many of them have left the country. Most of them left in order to find stable work or to further develop their skills or build an international career. On the other hand, well qualified people who have lived and worked in Serbia for a longer period rarely decide to leave

their current jobs and companies. their growth. A company’s success is re- ployees and to always be there for them. The problem is even more complex flected in its staff. We invest not only in For this very reason we at HEINEKEN in the provinces, where the outflow of technology and production, but also in have introduced so-called business partqualified individuals is particularly pro- the training and development of employ- ners in each place where we operate. nounced. ees, improving working conditions and In addition, HR has to be bold enough Our company also has to face that ensuring safety at work. and step forward and be able to identify challenge, as we also have breweries in Our corporate culture is designed the root causes of potential problems in Zaječar and Novi Sad. We believe that that this challenge can be overcome through the attracting of young people and investing in their development in early stage of their careers. That is the reason why we have introduced a Local Management Trainee Programme at both breweries. Besides that programme, for example, we have established successful cooperation with a secondary school in Novi Sad and students over 18 have the opportunity to gain work experience at our brewery. Employee satisfaction is essential to our company and is something to which HR is particularly committed. We conduct an annual climate survey in which all of our employees participate. The survey questionnaire helps us assess how they feel about key topics, such as job satisfaction, professional development, material and non-material incentives, working conditions, human reWe invite you to visit the following link and discover your profile in lations, their rank and what we like to call ‘The interview’ . It may support you in finding the prospects in the organbest fit for your future or current job! isation, information and communication, management and our overall business policy. We use that information to compile com- around a system of values and a working human resources and help business to parative reports and define action plans environment that support and stimulate go forward, rather than maintaining the that should answer burning questions: personal and professional development status quo or doing things in a tick‒box How to improve working conditions and and corporate spirit by harmonising our fashion. performance? How to create a great employees’ needs and goals with the The influence of the HR department place to work? needs and goals of HEINEKEN. If our comes with experience, knowledge and HEINEKEN Serbia provides remuner- employees are satisfied they will be mo- authority, and depends very much on the ation packages that are in line with the tivated to go the extra mile and we will formal status of the company layout. market, but we recognise the extra mile co-create a great corporate climate that At HEINEKEN Serbia our motto is and compensate it accordingly. will boost the performance. “walk the talk”, i.e. what we do has to be Our aim is to respond to the needs I expect HR to form mutual bonds, to in harmony with what we stand for and of every single employee and to follow truly care about the wellbeing of all em- what we communicate. ■ HUMAN RESOURCES DUAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRAINING (VET) SYSTEMS

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Strategy Based on Digitisation and Learning Agility

Due to globalisation processes, ongoing technological development and mixed generations of workplace employees, employers in the region are focused constantly on seeking solutions that could contribute to the efficiency and - in recent years - digitisation of the workplace


ssessment Systems Adria is a regional company that implements its activities, mission and vision on the territory of Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and is the exclusive representative for Serbia of company Hogan Assessment (U.S.) and Schuhfried (Austria), both renowned global brands in the field of selecting and developing human resources.

When searching for new employees, apart from the technical and functional competencies required for the job, companies in the region are searching for candidates who are, apart from being interpersonal savvy and goal-orientated, able to adapt to constant change and willing to constantly learn. Therefore, when partnering with our clients to find the best fit candidates for managerial positions, Assessment Systems focuses on assessing candidates and recommending those who are simultaneously digitally competent and have high learning agility.

learning and individual dynamic, mentorship and coaching-based development. Working on employee development programmes, which actually create long-term change and generate a Return on Investment (RoI), our experience has showed us that the use of Big Data existing within a company is the most meaningful resource for staff-related decisions (e.g. identifying High Potentials, creating group and individual development programmes, addressing specific needs), so most of our development programmes are based on the objective, scientifically-based, personality assessment (Hogan Assessments of competencies), reputation assessment via 360 assessment and thorough analysis of the

• Assessment Systems Adria is among the leaders in developing the skills required in the business environment. What are your • What are the basic international trends that communications like with companies that you apply in your approach for improving emare potential employers? ployee training within companies? - Digitisation is essentially changing the way companies function – how they Assessment Systems is focusing on assessing candidates and produce, sell, reach customers and recommending those who are simultaneously digitally competent create a customer-centric workplace, and have high learning agility and this fact has proved to be a challenge, as companies must combine previous track-record of the employee. By using internal talent and an older workforce that is - There are several, crucial methods that Asthis approach, we ensure that decision making digitally-ready with younger recruits – from sessment Systems has been using for quite processes related to employee development the digital natives generation. Since there is some time in our employee development proare objective, valid, reliable and non-biased. a need to combine talents – people-oriented grammes, in cooperation with our clients: use Related to revamping leadership training, our approaches, as well as digital expertise – we are of existing company data (Big Data), objecclients are turning to the unique methodology that assisting companies in implementing strategies tive assessments of needs based on a comwe use – experiential learning with “on the spot” that encompass both, while the companies pany’s previous results and future strategy, problem solving activities, which is highly active themselves emphasise the importance of and assessments of individual potentials and and gives instant insight into the leadership team employing talented, tech-savvy workers who needs of employees, while we use innovative dynamics, as well as individual development needs are comfortable with change and eager to learn methodologies in transferring knowledge related to corporate competencies. ■ how to do things in new ways. and developing competencies – experiential

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Partner For Change Having a young, skilled workforce is in the best interests of Serbia. Advantage Austria is collaborating with key Serbian stakeholders in supporting, connecting and developing job profiles and curricula in the best interests of everybody – ministries, companies and especially young people in Serbia




ithin a year, the signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding – the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the Austrian Federal Foreign Ministry, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber – achieved a lot in introducing functional dual education to Serbia, says Fabian Gems, Deputy Head of ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA.

we put our heads together and cooperate, we can achieve more for the benefit of everybody involved. Lastly, with the help of experts from the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, we develop, together with the respective partners in Serbia, job profiles and curricula that are in the best interest of all stakeholders: ministries, companies, and especially young people in Serbia.

• What is the role of chambers of commerce in shaping the offer of educational profiles and matching them with demand • What is the role of Advantage Austria in the ongoing reform coming from companies? of vocational education in Serbia? - Firstly, it is important to see why the Serbian Chamber of Com- Put simply: Support, Connect and Develop. We see ourselves as partner in these three key areas. First and foremost, we support our Austrian companies within The interest in dual education and qualified young workers is rising the territory of Serbia through continuously. We hope to continue our project with our Austrian coaching and workshops in order subsidiaries and domestic partners for the foreseeable future to clearly define their needs within the labour market. We also connect merce & Industry, together with the Ministry of Education and the all stakeholders, namely companies, ministries, schools and the schools, has such an important role to play in shaping the offer Serbian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, in order to enable a according to the needs of companies. If the subjects and practice vibrant and positive exchange of information and work flow. Of taught at school is not up to date with what is needed in our fast course we also work closely with our Swiss (SDC) and German moving economy, students from trade or technical schools are (GIZ) partners, as we all have a common understanding that if

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not equipped with the skills and traits required to be successful in the workplace. Thus, students become frustrated and tend to choose other schools, leaving a gap in the skilled workforce needed in Serbia. On the other side, companies are less likely to take in students under these conditions. As such, the most important role of the chambers is to have an open ear for companies and to act when there is a supply and demand gap in skilled workers. • To what extent are Austrian companies in Serbia involved in dual education? - We officially started our project last February, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the Austrian Federal Foreign Ministry, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. So far we have accomplished quite a lot: we “dualised” one job profile (trader), and are in the process of introducing two new profiles (forwarder, mechatronic worker). Overall, we have around 20 Austrian companies involved at the moment, with more companies set to participate once we put the finishing touches to the new job profiles. Moreover, as it is not a closed system, we are happy to have also found partners in Serbian and international companies. But the interest is much bigger – so we hope to continue this project with our Austrian subsidiaries and domestic partners for the foreseeable future. • What experience do these companies have with Serbian workers coming from schools with dual education? - If you mean what experience Austrian companies in Serbia have with students training under this new project, I am afraid I cannot yet make any assessment, because the company-based training does not start until this coming February. However, in the meantime we are preparing companies thoroughly for the start of the training of the adolescents. We organise, for example, very successful ‘train the trainer’ workshops jointly for future mentors within companies and school teachers – definitely a “premiere” in Serbia, where this kind of cooperation and exchange of ideas between the business and educational worlds has no or little precedent. • There are some objections to the introduction of VET in Serbian schools, as it is seen as an additional subsidy to foreign investors in Serbia coming from the pockets of Serbian taxpayers, instead of the funds of these companies. How would you comment on that?

- I am afraid there is a misunderstanding in place – which I gladly address. Companies invest in students, training machines and employees becoming mentors, and also allow students to make some money on top of the knowledge and skills they receive. Also, as mentioned, we very much welcome domestic Serbian companies to participate in this project. Take our job profile “trgovac” (trader) for example. In Delhaize and Univerexport we found strong companies with similar needs to VIP Mobile and DM: having young, skilled workers within their shops in Novi Sad, Belgrade and elsewhere. The grain of truth within the objection is the following: investors, from Austria, Germany, Switzerland or elsewhere, take a close look at a location before investing. One of the most important questions companies face is the availability of skilled labour. I strongly believe that having a young, skilled workforce is in the best interests of any country. As Marko Čadež, President of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, put it at one of our recent meetings: Serbia, like many other neighbouring countries, is in heavy competition for the brightest minds – why not develop them yourselves? • Are you considering the establishment of the kind of Austrian training centres that have been established in some other countries where there are a number of Austrian companies? - Austrian training centres can certainly provide added value in some cases, for example for the construction industry during the winter months. Within the existing plan, we do not intend to invest in an Austrian training centre, as we believe strongly in the importance of a close relationship between students and companies. This is the only way companies and their students can build up relationships and students create a company’s DNA, which is vital for the future employment of students. • What is the role of the HR profession in ensuring that employees have up-to-date knowledge? - Human resources are an invaluable part of every organisation and company. That starts from recruitment to the short- and long-term development of soft and hard skills. The experience we have had so far within and outside of our project is clear: companies know exactly what their needs and requirements are, and where they need to be in five years. We hope to contribute to their success and encourage as many students as possible to choose skilled workers’ career paths in providing attractive dual education profiles. ■


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Knowledge is a Crucial Competitive Advantage on the Market Over the quarter century of its existence, Delta Holding has grown and evolved, changing its business, adjusting to the needs of the market, setting new standards, bringing new brands, being innovative and different all the way... Still, Delta Holding has remained true to one thing - we have invested in people and knowledge, creating professionals and experts, and making leaders


or Delta, being a leader means being a team formal education, but grades are not our key in people, because only they can apply new technology and manage real estate and land, in order player, never settling for mediocrity, but criterion. Our applicants are the best students, to generate profit and improve the environment rather always striving together for better but we select only those with certain qualities in which we live and work. Our lasting success is results, higher goals and achievements. that fit into Delta’s business philosophy. not accidental, therefore each day we learn and Such an approach to business means that we In the course of this one-year programme, new live by the old saying: “The more you know, the need to have people who are ready for constant employees change three different jobs in various more you are worth”. changes and improvement. These are people who Delta member companies, thereby gaining a fuller Knowledge is a crucial competitive advantage are hungry for knowledge and improvement, who insight into the company’s operations. Delta is on the market. Just as those who make a break in are talented, selfless and team-orientated. That one great school, and we believe that you can their business begin to fall, similarly those who is why we launched the Young Leaders project and learn the most through work. Naturally, during recently welcomed our fifth generation of new young colleagues. Delta is well known for its major investments in agriculture, real A total of more than 14,000 candidates applied for this job opportunity, estate and technology, but our most valuable investment is in people which was only promoted online. A hundred of them had the chance to gain work experience in Delta’s business system. stop with their professional development are no each rotation, our more experienced colleagues To become part of the programme, candidates longer top professionals in their field. provide support to young leaders as their mentors. need to go through four rounds of the selection In order to be a leader in your business, you Delta believes in young people and offers process: online application, English language test, must have leaders, and we do have them: we hire them a chance. The development of individual test of general knowledge and logic, interview them and then we build, develop, and support careers always means the development of the and group assessment. This process takes a them until they are completely independent company as well. An employee who feels that few months, because we do not rely only on and able to help in the development of new their career is evolving and progressing will give academic achievements and grades, but rather, colleagues. It is a cyclical process that ensures their maximum effort in the workplace. using our own tools, we set out to select those sustainability and fosters a culture of support Delta is well known for its major investments candidates that can realise their full potential in and knowledge sharing, and that is the path that in agriculture, real estate and technology, but our our environment. It is not that we underestimate we will continue to tread. ■ most valuable investment is in people. We invest

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Benefiting From Diversity UniCredit SpA’s strong operating presence in 14 countries throughout Europe is one of the bank’s main competitive advantages


y benefiting from the local knowledge and expertise of its own staff, UniCredit develops strong cooperation and fully exploits the best practices of each region, adapting them to other local markets.

staff are at the centre of attention. This new layout that we created in the new offices we moved to last year allows us more frequent cooperation, increases our creativity and innovation, and supports corporate sustainability via reduction of paper use and increased digitisation, but it also provides the options of working from home and flexible working time.

est motivation and achieve the best performance, and offer them the opportunity to join us. We do not choose staff for specific positions, but rather we employ those whom we recognise as having the desire to grow and develop together with the bank. So, on top of the basic training needed for regular operations, we create an individual career development plan

• UniCredit SpA is present in numerous countries worldwide. What principles is its HR system in Serbia based on, and do they differ from market to The diversity of our business is no impediment, but rather market? stimulates us to follow the vision of our mother company which is - The diversity of our business is no impediment, but rather stimuOne Bank, One UniCredit lates us to follow the vision of our mother company, which is One Bank, One UniCredit. Although our HR • Are you satisfied with the profiles, for each staff member, which we continuStrategy is fully coordinated with that of knowledge and motivation of typical can- ously monitor and regularly improve. the Group, it is also adjusted to the needs didates, and what kind of training is needof the local market and working environ- ed to “fit them in” to the bank’s work? • What are the most important qualities - UniCredit Bank’s HR Strategy is focused a candidate must have to become part of ment. As an example of this I can mention the on the development of young talent. Our the UniCredit Bank Serbia team? Smart Working Concept that we recently general employment profile is therefore - Briefly: motivation, ambition, innovaimplemented. This is a Group project with usually the graduate. They have the op- tion, a desire to learn and improve and, certain local modifications, and UniCredit portunity to use their knowledge and of course, flexibility. The banking sector Bank Serbia is one of the first members of expertise to progress through their ca- is extremely dynamic and diverse and our Group to implement it. Besides state- reers. We regularly organise several ini- requires a variety of skills. It is therefore of-the-art design and technology, it helps tiatives that support us in finding young important that our staff can keep track us become more digitised, more mobile talent, our summer practice for students of all our activities and quickly adapt to and easier to work with. Instead of having is certainly one of them. Over a period of different business scenarios. We want working premises focused on the archive, usually two to three months we are able UniCredit Bank to be recognised as the we wanted to create a space where our to identify the ones who show the high- best place to work! ■ HUMAN RESOURCES DUAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRAINING (VET) SYSTEMS

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Innovative Solutions For Youth Unemployment This innovative investment mechanism is gaining traction with investors around the world. The reason is simple: on top of earning a return, they also bring about social impact, hence the name – social impact investing

MIKA PYYKKÖ of the SITRA Finnish Innovation Fund at the workshop in Belgrade hosted jointly by the Finnish Embassy and UNDP


n cooperation with the Finnish Embassy in Serbia, and in partnership with the Government of Serbia, UNDP Serbia is working with a pioneering team of experts from Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, who have already achieved success with similar impact bonds in the fields of employment of immigrants and occupational wellbeing.

Serbia, reaching 43.2% in 2015. This incurs large losses for the Government – estimated at over €1.6 billion a year in costs of unemployment-related benefits, lost tax revenue and productivity losses. While young university graduates have more job opportunities, youth in long-term unemployment continue to struggle. We believe the solution lies in aligning public-private partnerships, which these

• How safe and attractive will this investment be? - The return on investment for comparable bonds globally ranges from five to 10 per cent. Of course, just like for any investment, there is risk involved. However, UNDP is designing a customised approach to youth unemployment to ensure the risks are minimised.

• UNDP is piloting a project that will help employ more young people in SerThe youth unemployment rate is very high in Serbia, reaching bia through so-called “impact invest43.2% in 2015. This incurs large losses for the Government – ing”. What does this entail? estimated at over €1.6 billion a year in costs of unemployment- The project that we are piloting in Serbia will tackle the issue of youth unemployrelated benefits, lost tax revenue and productivity losses ment. We are working towards providing investors with a competitive option to invest their funds into youth employment bonds • What other applications do you envisage for bonds can do by turning the desired social gains in the near future, which will yield a satisfactory impact investing? into an attractive but safe investment opportunity. return, whilst simultaneously putting more young - We will pilot this mechanism to support the people into work by financing such measures IT Council of the Government and the Ministry • Who can invest in youth employment bonds as training for vocations in demand or support of Public Administration and Local Self-Govin Serbia? ernment in training future junior programmers programmes for new entrepreneurs. - We expect to partner mainly with the business in skills required by Serbia’s growing IT sector. Once an independent evaluator assesses sector. With corporate social responsibility funding, The concept will be tested with four training that work has been done and the impact has been for example, more and more companies invest back providers for an initial group of 100 trainees achieved, the Government pays out on the bond, into society, which is an increasingly important part over the course of six months. thereby effectively “paying for success” - for youth of corporate sustainability strategies in Serbia. If successful, this project will be continued employment solutions that have worked in practice. The experience from other countries has for another 900 trainees with more service shown that upon getting the return on investment, providers, seeking to embed the social impact • Is the key to addressing this burning issue in such investors choose to continue the cycle of bond mechanism for sustaining and upscaling public-private partnerships? impact investing for a different cause. We hope the initiative. ■ - Yes, the youth unemployment rate is very high in to replicate that practice in Serbia.

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Your Partner For Career Development

Company LEONI is a global leader in the production of wire systems and cable technology. Over 75,000 highly qualified and motivated employees in 31 countries are directed towards understanding and meeting the demands of our clients. LEONI is constantly seeking new solutions and ideas, and it engages young people, providing them with support during their education, employment opportunities and professional development


n Serbia, LEONI faces intensive development 32 of them continuing to work in the company. boundaries of career development, the desired and a strong need to recruit a large number • The “First Chance” programme provides vocation and the destinations that are available.” of candidates with different educational vocational training and employment for young - Dalibor Stojanović, Graduate of economics, backgrounds. However, the situation on the people up to the age of 30 who have no previSupply Chain Manager: labour market is such that there is no existing ous work experience in this profession. By “Knowledge rounded off with the compiling available qualified workforce, nor candidates year’s end 2016 this programme had included of my graduate dissertation introduced me to with the necessary educational profile. It is for 14 participants, seven of whom continued to the sector of company procurement and the this reason that we have started participating work at the company. modern supply chain. By working with experienced in several programmes aimed at providing • The Programme “Practical experience for people from around the entire world I improved qualifications for unemployed people. • The programme “Training for a known employer” lasts two months In Serbia, LEONI faces expansion and an expressed need to recruit a large and consists of basic training and number of candidates with different educational backgrounds, but on training in the workplace. Basic trainthe labour market there is no existing available qualified workforce, nor ing is carried out at a training centre candidates with the necessary educational profile that covers an area of over 400m². Students acquire basic knowledge about the company, are familiarised with the final year students” was established in cooperamy knowledge and gave a strong contribution to specific requirements of the customer, work tion with the Faculty of Economics in Niš. We the advancement of the company. LEONI, with its instructions and practical work. They then implemented this kind of cooperation for the clearly defined processes and German approach, continue their training in production and gain first time in 2016. is the ideal environment for development.” qualifications for performing the job of operaThe practice to date of participating actors. Successfully qualified trainees receive an Successful participants in the “First tively in personnel becoming qualified has adequate certificate. From 2009 to date, we Chance” programme: shown exceptional results. The employees have engaged 1,875 people, 90 per cent of whom - Aleksandar Andrić, Graduate of law, Direcwho participated in these programmes became remained in employment. tor of the Legal department: involved quickly and effectively in work as highly • The “Professional Practice” programme “it is crucial to align formal knowledge of motivated and loyal members of the company. lasts six months and has the aim of providing basic elements and institutions and the real That’s why we are continuing enthusiastically students with practical knowledge and skills needs of business in the areas of labour law and with the implementation of good practice as for independent work in an occupation without business operations. Education programmes active participants in the development of dual establishing employment. By the end of 2016, this after leaving the classroom carry this suceducation and professional practice for further programme had included 36 participants, with cess. LEONI provides that without knowing the and higher education. ■


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Study Programmes For Faster Employment Although Serbia is only just introducing a dual education system, Singidunum University has for years insisted, in cooperation with industry, on a better education and observation of the quality of students, which leads to a third of graduates gaining employment already during their practical training placements in companies


- We have for years been developing relationingidunum University is Serbia’s first • Singidunum University has 10,000 students ships with businesses in the field of dual edprivate university to be accredited and cooperates with over 500 companies. How ucation. The effort and investment have paid under the new Law on Higher Education do those companies respond to the drive to off in manifold ways, because in that way, and whose curricula are aligned with employ young people through the process of through cooperation with industry, we have the principles of the Bologna Declaration and dual education, which has not yet been institutionalised in Serbia? ensured a better education and better obserenable the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All study programmes are market-orientated, which improves the quality of education and the rate In the last couple of years we have had a special activity of the University of employability of graduates both focused on the formation of our own companies, or companies with in the country and abroad. foreign partners, through which we offer students practical training. That • How would you evaluate conditions for the development of dual education in Serbia and what are the preconditions for its full implementation? - The starting conditions for dual education are not favourable. Following privatisation and during the war years industry was devastated and, with industrial capacities becoming obsolete, we do not have enough successful, modern, appropriately staffed companies, or employees in them that have the theoretical knowledge presented to students in real factories and in the sphere of real business.

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improves the quality of education and raises the percentage of graduates who are employable both in the country and abroad


vation of student quality. For these reasons, about a third of students gain employment during the course of their practical training placements in companies, while a further twenty per cent gain employment in those same companies after graduation. Mandatory work placements in the third and fourth year of studies for students of economics, tourism, hospitality, information technology, software engineering, electrical engineering and English Language is actually their ticket into the business

world. Many of our students take advantage of that in the proper way. •What standards does Singidunum University apply in order to provide high-quality candidates for the market that can be included in work processes as quickly as possible? - We apply a quality standard that we have created ourselves. High quality and advanced study programmes, high quality teaching staff, classes held in Serbian or English, our own or high quality textbooks, a combination of theory and practice, the learning of at least two foreign landifferent domains, in which fields do gradu- The University has an advisory role. After the guages, acquiring IT knowhow in all study programmes, gaining personal and business skills ates most quickly gain employment? testing of students’ aptitude and capabilities etc. One special advantage is our young teach- Almost all of our study programmes are well for professional orientation and talks about ers, who completed their doctorate at the world’s positioned on the market. In recent years the motives, they receive our stance regarding most prestigious universities and who return to leading area has been the rate of employment their predispositions for certain study programmes. However, the will of students or our country and take up employment with us. of software engineers, graduate engineers of There is also the evaluation of teaching and extracurricAfter the testing of students’ aptitude and capabilities for professional ular activities by students. Due to all of the aforeorientation and talks about motives, they receive our stance regarding their mentioned, we have a good predispositions for certain study programmes. However, the will of students market position, and an evor parents is decisive er increasing number of foreign students study at parents is decisive. We also have a Career our university. modern information technology, graduates in Development Centre for students that enIn the last couple of years we have had a information technology, electrical engineers, gages in consulting work, finds work pracspecial activity of the University focused on graduates in economics for accounting and tice placements and organises work practhe formation of our own companies, or comauditing, banking and finance, human resource panies with foreign partners, through which tice fairs and employment... management, graduate economists specialising in hospitality management, tourism and the we offer students practical training. That im• Will Singidunum University adjust its teachproves the quality of education and raises the food economy. ing plans and programmes in order to further percentage of graduates who are employable • To what extent can the University influence harmonise with the international standards both in the country and abroad. the professional orientation of students when of dual education? • As a university that educates highly qualiit comes to their real abilities for work in a spe- We will certainly change and improve study fied personnel for the market and experts in cific profession? programmes in order for students to be better trained when they head into the real world of business. They will, with the help of new and improved study programmes, and in a shorter period of time, achieve better results on the labour market, and thus secure paid working posts and positions. Likewise, let’s not forget that this also means that employers acquire a trained and qualified workforce. That also impacts on our market position in the field of higher education. ■ HUMAN RESOURCES DUAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRAINING (VET) SYSTEMS

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Better Education For a More Resilient Society

Dual education can be a major contributor to sustainable economic growth. The key prerequisite for it to work well is a functioning legal framework, which gives companies the security they need to work in Serbia and invest in their workers. Germany will continue to support Serbia in its economic and legal reform efforts and on its path towards the EU




erbia has excellent workers and well-qualified university graduates, but lacks well-trained, mid-level specialists who are essential for sustainable economic development. German support is targeted at closing this gap, says H.E. Axel Dittmann, German Ambassador in Serbia. • Germany has been supporting the introduction of a VET system in Serbia for several years now. What is the current state of this cooperation? - German-Serbian development cooperation activities began back in 2000. Having supported Serbia since that time with funds totalling more than 1.6 billion euros, Germany is today the largest bilateral donor in the country. In 2015, Federal Minister Müller and Prime Minister Vučić launched the “German-Serbian Initiative for Sustainable Growth and Development”. Our long-term goal

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is to improve both framework conditions for economic growth and employment opportunities in Serbia. Promoting vocational education and training thus became one of the central elements of Germany’s development cooperation with Serbia. To this end, we are working with partners from the Government of Serbia, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia (CCIS), the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK) as well as German and Serbian companies. Supported by the German Government and implemented by GIZ and our Serbian partners, the pilot phase has been successfully completed. Currently, another 774 students are involved in the training phase, 16 schools across Serbia are participating in the programme and 28 companies are actively supporting these schools. Nine partnerships between Serbian and German vocational schools have been initiated. Now we are talking about the roll-out. We hope that this initiative will be broadly anchored – both in schools and, above all, in as many Serbian and international companies as possible.

German businesses active in Serbia, many of which are very interested in supporting vocational education and training for these mid-level workers. • Based on Germany’s experience, what are the preconditions for a well-functioning VET system? - Dual education can be a major contributor to sustainable economic growth. For it to work well, there are a number of prerequisites: the key one is a functioning le-

• Serbia intends to gradually introduce dual education to the Serbian education system, starting from 2017. Into which areas do you intend to channel Germany’s support in connection with these efforts? - Analyses have shown that Serbia has excellent workers and very well-qualified university graduates. Many mayors, local businesspeople and school principals What Serbia is lacking, however, are dedicated to making the Serbian education sector more are well-trained mid-level specialefficient and responsive to labour market needs – thus giving ists who allow for the production of young people better prospects for their future higher value-added products. These workers are essential for sustainable economic development. gal framework, which gives companies the security they German support is targeted at closing this gap. In need to operate in Serbia in the long term and invest in 2013, GIZ, together with the Serbian Ministry of Education, began to identify job profiles for which adtheir workers. Thus, reforms in the area of the rule of ditional training and modernisation through the dual law – strengthening the independence and efficiency education system can make a real difference: lockof the judiciary, strengthening independent institutions smiths and welders, industrial mechanics and elecand combatting corruption – are crucial. These reforms tricians. In 2016, the modernisation of an additional are not only needed for foreign companies to invest in a three profiles with good employment prospects was sustainable manner; they are also a central element in initiated: electro fitters for networks and installathe modernisation of Serbian society. Germany will contions, car mechanics and fashion tailors. tinue to support Serbia in its economic and legal reform Having identified the professional profiles, the foefforts, and on its path towards the EU. cus of German support is shifting towards connecting potential employers with vocational schools. In addi• Although it has proved successful in providing an edtion to Serbian companies, there are more than 350 ucated workforce, the VET system is quite expensive. HUMAN RESOURCES DUAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRAINING (VET) SYSTEMS

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Based on Germany’s experience in exporting VET knowhow worldwide, how can emerging economies establish a well-functioning dual education system? - The cost of VET is relatively low when one takes into account the benefits received. According to the results of a new representative survey by the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) on the costs and benefits of in-company vocational education and training, businesses’ expenditures for

fact, the majority of businesses surveyed say they are “very satisfied” with the cost-benefit ratio of providing vocational education and training. We believe that a VET system helps to build a sustainable economic environment and would, thus, be especially suitable for emerging economies. • How can the introduction of a VET system create new jobs and help in the employment of young people in Serbia? - I see two reasons why introducing VET can improve the employment situation for young people. VET directly benefits students, who, in parallel to their schooling, also receive paid training and a potential long-term job. But VET also has an indirect positive effect: it provides companies with a better-trained workforce, thereby strengthening their capacity to offer complex products. This can improve the overall economic situation and thus help create more and better-paid jobs. • What is the role of the VET system in terms of promoting investment in Serbia? - With a well-functioning VET system, the existing gap on the Serbian labour market regarding well-trained, mid-level workers can be closed. It will, thus, improve opportunities for companies and contribute to stimulating additional high-quality investments.

• How can German companies help in this process? German companies are experienced in VET, and can offer a - German companies are expesubstantial number of trainee positions for young people and rienced in VET. They can offer additional knowhow for their Serbian partners a substantial number of trainee positions for young people and additional knowhow for their Serbian partners. The VET have increased in recent years. But this investment German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce plays an important role in this process, by inviting subject-matter pays off, especially when the apprentices are offered a experts and supporting companies that take part in VET. permanent contract after their apprenticeship, because it generates savings on recruitment costs, reduces dependence on the labour market and avoids the potential • Based on your visits to several Serbian municipalities that have introduced a dual education system, costs of lost business due to labour shortages. what would you say are the major reactions on the More than 80 per cent of businesses that engage in ground? VET confirm that they do so in order to qualify future - I have spoken with many mayors, local businesspeople employees with a view to offering them long-term employment. Thus, businesses benefit by teaching their and school principals. It has been great to see the enthusiasm of all these decision-makers, who are dedicated apprentices company-specific skills and knowledge, to making the Serbian education sector more efficient in addition to the curriculum defined by the training and responsive to labour market needs – thus giving regulation. The training they would need to provide for young people better prospects for their future. ■ externally recruited workers is no longer necessary. In

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Employment Prospects Through Vocational Training German NGO Help has been operating in Serbia since 2002, providing start-ups with in-kind grants and business and vocational training in order to create self-employment and income opportunities. Throughout the years, Help has supported over 6,000 families in their efforts to secure regular incomes through projects aimed at ensuring sustainable growth and employment


s a 2016 impact analysis shows: 74% of small and micro businesses supported by Help between 2004 and 2013 are operational and generate income, creating additional, permanent jobs. Working on employability, with a focus on socially marginalised sectors of the population and the development of different types of schemes, suits a variety of possibilities for new jobs. The value of in-kind grants ranges from €1500 to €3000 for individual grants for start-ups and employment to €15000 for cooperatives engaged in agriculture production, recycling and construction works. In addition to the German and EU funds that Help is using for emergency relief and sustainable development in Serbia, in 2014 the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, joined in supporting socio-economic empowerment among vulnerable groups and minorities. The €1.8 million project “Poverty reduction and enhancement of employment opportunities of marginalised and vulnerable population groups with a special focus on Roma women in Serbia”, which was supported by Sida, co-financed by the targeted cities and municipalities (Kraljevo, Krusevac, Leskovac, Obrenovac, Prijepolje, Po-

zarevac, Trstenik, Vlasotince, Vladicin Han and Vranje) and is being implemented by Help from May 2014 until August 2017, focuses on the right to employment of vulnerable groups and has so far supported over 400 families in generating income. However, the greatest identified challenge faced by unemployed people under 30 is their

During the cycle of on-the-job-training, the private companies included in the work placement practice for unemployed youngsters in Kraljevo and Vranje, with additional incentives in the form of equipment within the project, decided to retain the best motivated trainees and offer them employment. In Kraljevo alone,

The value of in-kind grants ranges from €1500 to €3000 for individual grants for start-ups and employment to €15000 for cooperatives engaged in agriculture production, recycling and construction works lack of work experience, which consequently makes employment less likely. To overcome this issue, Help addressed youth with a background in secondary vocational education in cooperation with the relevant local and national stakeholders. In order for them to gain practical knowledge, skills and the required experience in private companies, and to meet the specific requirements of the future employer, Help realised - within the framework of the Sida supported project - a pilot activity: project component on-the-job-training for more than 40 young unemployed people in Kraljevo and Vranje.

thirteen young people aged up to 21 have been hired since October 2016 after completing their on-the-job-training with the same employer. Hence, together with the donor community and national and local stakeholders, through self-employment programmes, Help is creating new job prospects for the targeted groups of the population, contributing to the sustainable, long-term development of local communities and their members. The principle of assistance towards achieving self-reliance remains the Help mode in pursuit of the vision of a just, safe and dignified human life. ■


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Step Ahead of the Times

SLOBODAN JANKOVIĆ, student of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, is an example of how to prepare for a job after graduation


y paying special attention to the education and training of young personnel, Požega-based Inmold Plast has moved a step ahead of the times. As of this year, the founder of INTEC (Inmold Technical Education Centre) has formed as a special sector within the framework of its company that deals with the professional training of young people for the needs of its firm. At this centre they receive expert practical and theoretical knowledge in all technically required fields.

Immold is a successful family company whose management, headed by director Goran Janković, strives to realise its vision: for experience and efficacy on the Serbian market to slowly but surely lead to the conquering of the European market, and for everything that is good, including elements of dual education, to be transferred to its working environment ognised by our competitors from Europe as experts worthy of respect in this area. • Although dual education has not yet been institutionalised in Serbia, Inmold has for years employed young people from the region and trained them to work in its production facilities. How do you make your selections and where do your candidates for training most commonly come from? - For the fifth year already we have business and technical cooperation with the Požega Technical School, from which we get part of our required personnel upon the completion of their school-

Those that show confidence pass to work placement and training that lasts three months. After this period they gain their first job, with less responsibility and the possibility of furthering improving and progressing in this field. The third way is through cooperation with the National Employment Service, which maximally meets our needs and makes recommendations for candidates that could be interesting for our business activities. These are mostly candidates who have completed technical direction with a specialisation in mechanical engineering. In the absence of machining sector qualifications, a chance is given

• On which standards and procedures is your company based? - Our company possesses and successfully implements certified We try to give young people our all, and it is up to them with their work standards ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. to contribute to their own professional advancement or stagnation We follow European standards and norms in the business that we do, ing. Of the total number of scholarship recipito candidates from other technical departments and that is the development of tools for casting ents, 50 per cent found work in our company, 25 who accept retraining. For now we have good canplastic parts and the production of plastic parts didates from Požega and the surrounding municper cent went to college and the rest did not find with special emphasis on us being specialists in ipalities of Kosjerić, Arilje and Užice. their place in this profession. the production of tools and robots for the injection moulding of IML packaging for food and chemA second way is for interested youngsters to • Inmold’s production facility is located in Požega, ical products, with the aim of being one of severapply via our website, through which they underal recognisable companies working in this field. go two rounds of interviews, and then entrance which has fewer than 30,000 inhabitants and I can state with pride that in this area we have tests in order for us to assess their overall capabillots of unemployed young people. How much ities: skill tests, safety and environmental protecever more jobs and utilised capacity in this kind interest is there in training at Inmold among tion measure, on which we place great emphasis. of work is almost 80 per cent, while we are recyoung people?

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- Young people increasingly understand what a promising profession is that is not just sitting next to a computer, familiarising themselves with the virtual world, such as social networks, working in cold storage, picking raspberries, etc. But rather a more complex profession that has everything that is needed by a young, business and family man. For me that is the mechanical engineering profession, and from day to day interest is growing ever more. Perhaps this is a result of the crisis in which the country finds itself, so young people are slowly realising what they should do and which route to take. As our people would say “every evil has its good side”. We have in our ranks plenty of young workers, both those that are highly skilled and those who have yet to pass through our school. Our average age is about 30 among 140 employees, which is certainly commendable! We try to give young people our all, and it is up to them with their work to contribute to their own professional advancement or stagnation.

it was previously well distilled, so in this job a little time is needed for some things from the profession to snap into place.

expert practical and theoretical knowledge in all technically required fields. We have carefully selected subjects in order for them to provide the most tangible possible knowhow and therefore • Does Inmold have the support and assistance prepare a young person for modern business operations in the 21st century. of the local government when it comes to carrying out such important activities that contribute First of all the classroom was equipped with to youth employment? supporting equipment for the purposes of holding seminars, training sessions, motivational pres- Unfortunately we have not had proper support to entations and theoretical instructions. date. We have addressed them with a request to Lectures are attended by a large number of make available to us part of some business premises (Balon hall, Budimka factory etc.) in order for employees from various themed areas depending on their sphere of interest and the job they do us to be able to expand and in the short period (mathematics, English language, business and globof a year hire at least another 100 young people. al research, informatics, hydraulics, pneumatics, electrical engineering etc.). The second part of INTEC is the workshop part, equipped with complete equipment for manual processing required for six job posts. Complete equipment for all jobs was purchased for the purposes of manual processing. Around €15,000 was invested GRADUATES WHO'VE BEEN ENGAGED PROFESSIONALLY SINCE 2016 AND SCHOLARSHIP • How is your trainin equipping this eduRECIPIENTS FOR 2016/2017, SECOND, THIRD AND FOURTH YEAR HIGH SCHOOL PUPILS ing of candidates imcational unit. plemented and how long does it usually take? INTEC has also equipped its own library with • What are Inmold’s future business plans and - Depending on a candidate’s preferences and pria significant number of books in the field of mewhat is your projection for the further advanceor knowledge, we determine which machine they ment of dual education at Inmold in Požega and chanical engineering, while there is also a place will be trained to operate. Immold has many opthe immediate region? for staff recreation. tions: from manual processing to operators of uni- From the very start of doing business indepenIn accordance with financial possibilities, in versal lathes, universal milling machines, grinders, dently, I have faced a chronic shortage of skilled the period ahead the plan is for INTEC to be installed with new machines: CNC lathe, CNC millassembly tools, CNC milling machines, CNC lathes, labour, despite the fact that I am ing machine, equipment for testing hydraulic CNC EDM and other supporting activities, such as • the first practical founder of cooperative (dual) education in Serbia, five years ago and pneumatic components, both for the trainprocurement and commercial work. ing of students and employees in basic electri• the founder of the centre for contemporary Training deadlines depend primarily on prior cal engineering and electronics and plastic intechnology, four years ago knowledge in the field of mechanical engineering. We estimate this already in the phase of the jection machines. • the organiser of many practical seminars in interviews and entrance tests that are carried out The plan is for this centre to become a place mechanical engineering for young entrepreneurs. with potential candidates. Selected candidates that brings together young people from techniBy paying special attention to the education and cal professions, primarily mechanical engineerstart with theoretical and practical training that training of young personnel, Požega-based Inmold ing, from the Zlatibor district and beyond; a place can last from three to six months. Plast has moved a step ahead of the times. As of where everyone who comes will feel good, where After two to three years of active work on a this year, the founder of INTEC (Inmold Technical they will be able to learn something, to share machine, they can expect real results and indeEducation Centre) has formed as a special sector pendence in the production process for more something with someone, and during breaks to within the framework of its company that deals complex tasks. Just as rakija needs to be rested be leisurely and relaxed, with the possibility of with the professional training of young people for for a while in order to gain quality, provided that gaining a secure job. ■ the needs of its firm. At this centre they receive


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Roadmap for the Digital Business World We are witnessing changes to the world we know. The dimensions of those changes are huge, their directions unexpected, their dynamics unpredictable and digitisation is their main driver


- would you like to turn your IT system carried out within the agreed time and he world is becoming digital. budget frames, a high quality of service, into an advantage for your business? These facts are the foundation - would you like to digitise your busi- excellent knowledge of business processes, of M&I Systems’ business and qualified experts (consultants and developthey represent the essence of ness logic? the company’s mission: We create value - would you like to transform your data ers), adaptability of technologies, excellent for our clients and partners by developing and processes into an intelligent decision communication skills, constant growth and and implementing innovative IT solutions, support system? expansion of M&I Systems’ products and our vision is to empower our customers to - would you like to turn your business services portfolio, competitive prices etc. transform their business by becoming digi- digital? tal, and the core of our strategy is MIS DIGITAL,” We treat all our clients as partners and we strive to build long term says Nenad Inđić. • M&I Systems’ business activities include valorisation of companies and finding the most efficient solutions for business improvement. What are the starting parameters for cooperation? - A condition for successful cooperation is the positive answer of a potential client to all of the following questions: - would you like your existing IT systems to ‘talk to each other’?

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relations with them, based on mutual trust

• What are your priorities in client cooperation, and what can clients expect from you? - We treat all our clients as partners and we strive to build long term relations with them, based on mutual trust. In order to succeed, the first requirement and our utmost priority is customer satisfaction. Our clients can expect agreed work to be


• What is the importance of the valorisation process of human resources, especially management, to the business improvement of the company? - The statement that the staff are the most valuable resource of any company is much more than just a phrase, so it is essential for any company to have an excellent human resources management system.

M&I Systems has developed a special software solution, MIS.Discovery, based on the Rummler-Brache model, which uses defined objectives and performance measures, design and implementation, and management, to enable managers to measure and manage performance at the level of organisation, process and work, thus improving the company’s business operations. MIS.Discovery consists of two components: MIS.TWP (Team Work Performer) and MIS.HRIS (Human Re- addresses, contract types, working hours, and continuous professional developeducation, basic wages, reports on the struc- ment, improvement, education and staff sources Information System). MIS.TWP enables a manager to continu- tures of employees, groups and subgroups assessment, those are the essentials. In of employees, human resources operations: this we are largely assisted by the aboveously validate their capacity and ability for a high performance level, and to improve employment, internal redistribution, sab- mentioned MIS.Discovery software. and develop them constantly: batical, retirement, leaving the organisation, - to implement the Management By re-employment); talent management (recruit- • Many companies in Serbia, especially Objectives (MBO) concept; ment, selection and vocational adjustment, large enterprises and investors, indepen- to improve their processes, transcribe development, professional development); dently recognise dual education as a way them into projects and plans, and perform their Quality of selection, suitable training and continuous professional execution in an effective and cost efficient development, improvement, education and staff assessment, based manner; on our MIS.Discovery software, are of great importance - to create operational work schedules, and to influence their implementation in performance management (planning and to acquire a high quality workforce from realisation of annual goals, employee reports local communities, though Serbia has not production; - to monitor, measure and continuously on their own performance, planning and yet institutionalised this system of trainimprove team performance and individual monitoring of performance achievements, ing and retraining. What is the view of M&I assessing, analysing and improving employee Systems on dual education? performance; - to implement an integrated manage- performance); web portals for talent manage- - M&I Systems has already implemented ment system for team performance and ment, web portals for staff and web portals our own kind of dual education system. We are offering free theoretical and practical individual performance; for managers. training courses in areas related to our - to monitor operational performance as a real-time workflow. • Are you finding enough good quality business sector for talented young people in their final years of secondary school or MIS.HRIS is an integral human resources workers for various industry sectors, and management solution, consisting of organi- how big a role in that process is played by college. After completing the training and passing tests on the knowledge acquired, sational management (organisation design, good selection and training? human resource requirement planning, evalu- - No, the market is lacking in the educated, the best among them stand a good a chance experienced and skilled workers that we of being employed at M&I Systems after ating the operation of the organisation); staff administration (employee personal data, need. Quality of selection, suitable training graduation. ■ HUMAN RESOURCES DUAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRAINING (VET) SYSTEMS

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Good Practice Creates More Job Opportunities More and more Danish companies and investors are now interested in business opportunities in Serbia, thereby also often creating jobs in Serbia. Therefore Serbia’s interest in strengthening dual education will benefit companies, employees and the society




ll theoretical knowledge has to be tried in practice. That’s why dual education is part of all kinds of education in Denmark. When it comes to VET, there are more than 100 programmes with more than 300 specialisations. Most often it is small and medium-sized companies that take on the most apprentices, but even the Danish Foreign Ministry employs office trainees – says Morten Skovgaard Hansen, Head of Mission at the Embassy of Denmark in Belgrade. The underlying value of the Danish approach is good cooperation between social partners and the devotion of Danish companies to the lifelong learning of their employees and their satisfaction with working conditions, adds our interlocutor.

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• In the Danish VET programme, social partners have a considerable influence on VET and, thus, great responsibility for it. Could you please tell us more about their role in VET? - In Denmark there is a long tradition of companies, labour unions and the state working together for the benefit of everyone. The same is the case when it comes to dual education. Social partners often discuss and reach agreement about how to ensure students get opportunities and that the required qualifications are provided in the future. For example, in 2016 they made an agreement on how to secure enough apprenticeships for the VET programmes. • How many VET programmes are there and which of them are the most popular among students? - In Denmark there are more than 100 VET programmes with more than 300 specialisations. The VET programmes normally last between three or four years. It is possible to gain an education in all kind of areas, from IT and crafts to food or social work. Some of the most popular VET courses in Denmark are, for instant, those for


smiths, mechanics, electricians, carpenters, chefs and social and healthcare workers. However, in Denmark dual education is not only for the VET programmes – it is part of all kinds of education! For example, we at the embassy have two university students each semester and as of this year we will also have a Serbian student trainee. That’s because in Denmark it is very important to try to use your theoretical knowledge in practice, so most students also have a student job in addition to their education. • Do students receive reimbursement during their training and what percentage of them gains employment with the companies where they receive their training? - The apprentices receive a wage during their education. Payment of this wage is shared between the state and the companies, with the company paying around 20 per cent of the wage. Apprentices receive the wage both when they are at school and when they are working on their apprenticeship. The wage increases each year during the education. The apprentice’s general working condition is secured by a collective agreement between the labour unions and the companies, and all apprentices are covered. As such, the apprentices also receive payment for holidays, sick leave and overtime. The employment rate for students after graduation is very good and around 80 per cent of them gain their first jobs after graduation at the companies where they received their training.

- In Denmark all children receive educational guidance during primary school. There are transition programmes, where children visit the VET school and also visit a potential workplace for a week to see what the work is like. • How important are the HR services of Danish companies? - In Denmark there is a tradition of lifelong learning, where companies invest in the development of their employees’ skills. In Denmark there is also a huge focus on employee satisfaction, because happy people perform better.

• What interests Danish companies Serbia can benefit from the Danish experience by taking into account in being part of VET programmes how effective it is when companies, the state and labour unions work and which type of companies are together to find good solutions in all areas, including dual education involved in these educational programmes the most? • To what extent are external HR companies involved - Danish companies are interested in the VET programme in shaping labour force supply and demand? for several reasons. First of all, in Denmark there is a long - External HR companies have a role to play, but the extradition of companies taking responsibility for educating the workforce, while Danish companies also invest a tent to which they are used in the process varies. lot in their workers. Secondly, because the students contributed with work during their training they are there• What portion of Danish experience and knowhow could be transferred to Serbia? fore an asset for a company, especially during the last - All countries have to find their own model, but I think part of their education. Serbia can benefit from the Danish experience by takSmall and medium-sized companies take on the most apprentices. That’s because a huge part of these compaing into account how effective it is when companies, the state and labour unions work together to find good sonies are craft firms that traditionally have more apprentices than industry. But all kinds of companies have aplutions. There are already many relevant initiatives in this area in Serbia. In general, we have seen some posiprentices. The Danish Foreign Ministry employs office trainees, for example. tive reforms related to the business environment. I am glad to see that more and more Danish companies and investors are now interested in business opportunities • What kind of support do children receive when decidin Serbia, thereby also often creating jobs in Serbia. ■ ing which VET school to choose?


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Sharing Swiss Business Standards The benefits of the dual education system should be recognised by all parties involved - schools, students, employers and the government


eing a supplier of large international companies, such as giants like IKEA, requires the right mind-set and the readiness to share their values, as well as respecting their highest social, legal, ecological and ethical standards. Daccomet AG has managed to transfer those values to its factories in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

cusing on transparency, flexibility and readiness for changes, which fits into the Swiss image, known for punctuality, efficiency, first-class services and accuracy. In order to advance towards Swiss business standards we must continuously conduct proper monitoring by determining and upgrading our strategic role, as well as all other activities leading to the implementation of high business standards in our factories in this region. • You employ mostly local youngsters. What tests and training do they need to complete before they start working at one of your plants? - We put a great effort into primarily finding

those with the right mind-set. This is crucial, and at the same time the biggest challenge. When we are convinced we have found the right ones, we start educating them in skill development. This relates to all structure of employees in our factories, as we consider our employees the most import asset of our projects. First and foremost, our co-worker should be open-minded and ready to do their utmost to improve their qualifications for the specific jobs for which they have applied. Before they start working, they are subjected to a job interview with a relevant HR manager. On this occasion they are assessed for their appropriateness for a certain kind of job. To encourage local youngsters, we organise various additional

• Daccomet AG is a Swiss company with production plants in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. To what extent have you succeeded in applying Swiss business standards in factories in this region? - By having our place in the market, In order to advance towards Swiss business standards we must we are confronting a big challenge continuously conduct proper monitoring by determining and nowadays. This requires both the high upgrading our strategic role, as well as all other activities leading quality and reliability of operations, to the implementation of high business standards in our factories which is already characteristic of in this region Swiss standards. Our success comes through fo-

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training courses from the very start of their employment, in order to develop their skills, responsibility, ambition, mind-set etc., with the goal of getting the best out of them. • Daccomet AG is one of Ikea’s suppliers, which means high quality products. How satisfied are you with the knowledge and skills of candidates applying for jobs at Daccomet? - We are very satisfied with the level of interest and motivation of potential candidates. We can only really judge about knowledge and skills after a certain period of on-the-job experience. We recognise their aspirations to learn and their motivation to gain experience and develop their potential, and therefore we are ready to support them through regular and various training courses, all with the aim of ensuring high quality products to supply to a client like IKEA. However, the most important preconditions in achieving this goal are the right mind-set and the readiness to share IKEA values, as well as respecting the highest social, legal, ecological and ethical standards, and striving to produce good quality articles with high productivity, in order to achieve a competitive price. • Switzerland is among the countries that base their economy on dual education, which helps young people get involved in production faster through training. In the current circumstances, is this system feasible in the countries of our region? - The dual education system, which is a combination of practical, on-the-job training and theoretical education, is only feasible if the advantages are recognised by all parties involved, meaning schools, employers and, above all, students. The advantages are evident, since the students gain relevant skills in companies during their training and the great possibility of avoiding the risk of unemployment. During the training their abilities grow; students develop under real conditions and therefore they can see if they are not able or

willing to do that job quite early. In Switzerland the dual educational system offers the possibility to continue education after finishing high school, while remaining employed. The success of countries like Switzerland and Germany, where dual system is implemented, is evident: relatively low unemployment and a growing economy. It is very encouraging that Serbia’s Prime Minister has recognised the huge potential. We have to be aware that the required educational reform is enormous, and

that it is a huge task to convince all parties involved, not only of the advantages, but also of the necessity. On the other hand, the education system in Switzerland was not created overnight either, but was rather developed continuously on the basis of cooperation and to the mutual benefit of the parties involved. • You once said that “investing in human resources is of the utmost importance for company development”. What methods does Daccomet use to find top quality staff? - In today’s economy, hiring methods for the

employment of people are very important. The methods we use to find top quality employees are, above all, asking our actual employees, who we know have the right mind-set, to recommend to us somebody in whom they are convinced. After that we invite them for assessments organised by external HR consultants. This approach should help us to identify and consider all factors relevant to utilising our potential for growth: mind-set, competence, necessary skills, capability, commitment, sociality, ability to work with others etc. The quality of employees and their development are becoming major factors in determining the long-term profitability of business. • Where do you see room for the improvement of the education system, in order to help reduce employment and promote the economy in the region? - Three years ago we recognised that our middle management lacked the necessary preconditions to one day become top managers. Nevertheless, throughout the entire region I sought an education that would endow them with the necessary knowhow and skills to one day become top managers. Finally, I initiated the creation of LSDT (Leadership and Skills Development Training), which is organised by the University of Berne’s Faculty of Architecture, Wood and Construction, to create an education system based on the dual education system. The whole project was supported and financed by SDC (Swiss Development Corporation) and, of course, open to employees of all companies. The feedback from employees at our two factories - Standard AD from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Standard Furniture Serbia - but also from the others, was overwhelming. I am happy that LSDT is currently in its second year and I am certain that more comparable training would promote the economy in the region. ■


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In Switzerland, two-thirds of young women and men choose a VET pathway. With this background and our expertise, we are ideally positioned to promote youth employment in Serbia, as we see it as being crucial to socially inclusive growth and prosperous local development


witzerland has supported VET reforms in many countries for more than 60 years and today plays an important role in setting a path for successful vocational education in Serbia too. We spoke with Ms. Ursula Läubli, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office to Serbia, about the expertise and donor support that Switzerland is offering to Serbia.

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• According to data provided by the Serbian Ministry of Education, Switzerland is the biggest donor when it comes to VET education in Serbia, although it has the smallest number of investor companies in Serbia, compared to many other countries. What is your country’s interest in investing in this particular area of educational reform?


- Rising youth unemployment is a trend in many parts of the world. This boosts the status of vocational training and reconfirms Switzerland’s long-standing experience and the reason why it is a priority for the Swiss Government. Dual education has a very good reputation in Switzerland, with two-thirds of young women and men in Switzerland choosing a VET pathway. With this background and our expertise, we are ideally positioned to promote youth employment in Serbia. We are glad to support the ongoing reform process to create a Serbian VET system. We are doing this on the basis of a shared interest and consider such a system crucial to socially inclusive growth and prosperous local development.

will improve youth employability in five major municipalities in Southern and Southeast Serbia, thus complementing our private sector development projects already involved in VET. We have brought together several furniture factories from Southern and Southwest Serbia that now cooperate to offer practical work training for young women and men. A curriculum was developed together with the technical schools. With our support, similar processes take place in the tourism and food processing industries, while the introduction of IT curriculum is underway. The government has taken on these successful bottom-up experiences; they contribute to evidence-based recommendations for the ongoing reform and its future implementation.

• We often see just one part of that reform, and that is the introduction of particular educational profiles • How is Swiss knowledge in schools. According to Swiss experience, how is the VET system transferred? composed and which institutions - VET is one of the key pillars does it involve? of our economy and a priority - Indeed, the curriculum is only one of topic for the Swiss Development Cooperation. We have many elements of our VET system in which all stakeholders, from both the education and employment sectors, constantly interact for its functionOur Project “From Education to Employment – E2E” will ing: professional organisations are in improve youth employability in five major municipalities in charge of the training content, while Southern and Southeast Serbia, thus complementing our the national Government provides private sector development projects already involved in VET strategic guidance. Implementation and supervision are carried out at the decentralised level (cantons). This supported VET reforms in many countries for more ideally prepares young people for the labour market than 60 years already and can count on great expertise. and benefits both the private and public sectors. FurRenowned Swiss public-private institutions also lend thermore, the possibilities for further education inbuilt their expertise for other countries. in the system enhance social mobility. Such an institution is involved in our E2E project in Serbia and supports capacity building for the set-up of • In which of these aspects of the VET system does an innovative “broker model”, in which designated local the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation actors, like youth offices, act as brokers for matching (SDC) support Serbia? supply and demand for work. This is done together - There are many well educated young people all over with the private sector and local institutions like the Serbia, but they face difficulties in finding a suitable National Employment Service. Companies also had their job. Here we step in to better match supply and demand in terms of the workforce with the profiles and capacity improved when it comes to identifying and competencies required by the market. searching for the skills and the workforce they require. Our Project “From Education to Employment – E2E” In all of our interventions we foster interactions between HUMAN RESOURCES DUAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRAINING (VET) SYSTEMS

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our secondary school education. Pupils are exposed to different professions and education opportunities and learn how to apply for a job in a very practical way. They are encouraged to seek advice from the public career advisory services. To bridge the difficult period from education to employment, targeted support measures, especially for youth with special needs and even greater obstacles, play a crucial role. • How is your cooperation with the Serbian government? - We can say that our cooperation is based on a shared interest. Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and our Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann have met on several occasions; recently a Swiss expert was here on the invitation of the government to provide advice on reform. Coordination platforms are being set up with all involved actors in VET and we hope they will play their envisaged role. I would say the momentum is favourable for further improving donor coordination, together also with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce. Switzerland will remain further committed to VET in Serbia, with around 10 million euros earmarked for the next four years. • What were the responses of businesses? How are you engaging them in reform? - They are already engaged in reform and have proven leadership The momentum for the introduction of VET education in Serbia in providing the government with with donor support is very favourable. Switzerland will remain their experience and involvement in curriculum development. The further committed to VET in Serbia, with around 10 million businesses with which we work euros earmarked for the next four years are very keen about the reform, as it brings them tangible benefits and is an investment in their future. private and public stakeholders from all sectors, which From the feedback we have received, they could have is one of the Swiss success factors. already improved their performance. Having skilled We have to bear in mind, however, that in the short term labour turns out to be a long-term benefit, while young VET cannot resolve the problem of high unemployment workers also bring new ideas. or create new jobs on its own. A functioning VET system is only one element of the solution. Therefore, we have • What is the role of HR departments when it comes complementary projects in our portfolio to enhance the to shaping the needs of companies? competitiveness of the Serbian Economy and improve - HR and the management play an important role in shaping the organisational culture for VET. This can work all the business environment. the better in an atmosphere where values such as trust, respect, self-initiative and entrepreneurship are taken • To what extent are career advisory services important as a precondition for the right choice of educaseriously – finally, it is all about human beings. A “master” tion for children? in advising young workers must be properly prepared for - They are undoubtedly important. I can speak of my such a task, his or her attitude and behaviour are crucial own experience by stating that it is a standard topic in to the success and motivation of a young worker. ■

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External HR Service A Strategic Partner In modern business, the global trend for the HR sector to take a growing importance, and thus also the external HR service provider, is ever more present in our market


anpowerGroup is an American ency of information and process is a key a few years ago – their needs, demands multinational company that premise of our approach to the client. and expectations are different. started operating in Serbia in When the client senses your true wish to 2008. It has grown continuously help them, when you are consistent, quick • What does the company obtain by outsourcing one or more HR functions? since then, and today is the fastest-growto react, but also realistic, you create twoing HR company in Serbia. We spoke with - There are many benefits for the company, way communication and trust that turns Aleksandar Hangimana, ManpowerGroup’s first of all saving time and costs. Through into a partnership. director for the Serbian market, about the outsourcing, the managers of certain activities can devote their attention to key proway his company develops relations with its • Is the market changing for HR providers? cesses and their company’s main business, clients and about the importance of devel- Certainly, our industry is very dynamoping partnerships between a company and ic and constantly changing. We strive to and leave HR partly or completely to us who an HR service provider. be drivers of change – through a proacdeal exclusively with these issues. “As a company that provides comprehensive, innovative and very complex staff solutions to Open, two-way communication and absolute transparency of companies in various industries, information and process is a key premise of our approach to the client we try to provide added value to our clients who have already decided to trust us with their business, tive approach and innovative solutions and become their strategic partner for all Knowing your market is one of the we want to be perceived by the client as HR issues”, says Aleksandar. greatest benefits, especially when most a strategic partner, and not just an “agencompanies compete for candidates on a cy”, and we manage to accomplish this. • What is the basis of your partnership limited market. Information that we consistently provide to the client is invaluaFor example, it is not enough just to monwith a client? itor legislative changes but better to take ble when making strategic decisions for - The moment the client and HR company begin to trust each other, they create a part in them, and then to inform the client their business. partnership. Trust cannot be assumed, it is in good time about these changes and the Cooperation with an external HR provider helps improve the client’s brand – we are built over time and then maintained. implications they may have for their business. The same is true for services. We try the ambassadors of our partners on the laManpowerGroup builds trust first and bour market and through direct and proto listen to our clients, and not only react foremost by its transparent approach to active communication with professionals to their inquiries but prevent potential the client and, of course, high-quality service without compromise. Open, two-way on the market we promote the values and risks and offer solutions. Clients do not communication and absolute transparbrand identity of the client we work for. ■ need the same solutions today as they did HUMAN RESOURCES DUAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRAINING (VET) SYSTEMS

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Build and Sustain A Unified, Effective Workplace CEOs these days are under multiple pressures - to produce profits and create shareholder value, to innovate, to differentiate, to attract and retain top talent and to secure “buy in” for a corporate vision, strategy and values


he central foundational task - to build and sustain a unified, cohesive workplace - is often the hardest to achieve. “Markets are driven by competition and self-interest, whereas people are brought together in organisations out of shared interest,” says Mark Royal, a senior principal at Korn Ferry Hay Group and the co-author of the book The Enemy of Engagement. “In theory, we bring activity under organisational umbrellas to join people in a larger team effort where commonality of interest breeds cooperation. In real life it doesn’t always work out that way.” Royal identifies several keys to building unity from the boardroom to the mailroom. “Consensus requires clarity around a broad organisational direction,” he says. “What is our mission at the highest level? People don’t get out of bed in the morning to maximise share price. They get out of bed to make a difference. Giving people a collective purpose and a sense that they are in it together is critical. But you also need to align personal incentives to keep them invested in organisational goals,” adds Royal. “Employees need to see how their efforts in working toward those goals will impact their compensation, their growth opportunities and their futures. Leaders must be able to relate the broad organisational mission to the individual employee’s world.

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What does this mission or strategic goal mean for the company, the team and employees individually? “Corporate culture,” he says, “fills in the white space around formal plans and systems. If you carefully manage and shape the culture, it reinforces formal messaging about direction and helps employees understand how they can help the company move forward.” How can companies fill in that white space? “CEOs and senior leaders have to shape the culture,” explains Royal. “It’s shaped by how leaders talk about the mission, the stories they tell, the key values they articulate and the heroes they create. How they reward and recognise employees also influences the culture. If leaders talk about the importance of collaboration, but

is a naturally divisive force, can bring out the best in people - the best ideas and the best performance - and is often used within organisations to drive creativity. “Competition among corporate teams or within them can be positive,” says Royal, provided it is organisation-focused and people are motivated by its best interests. “As long as people feel they’ve been heard, that their effort was valued, internal competition doesn’t need to be divisive,” he notes. “Where competition is self-interested and driven by personal goals, it’s more likely to be negative.” The implication that “being heard” is more important than carrying the day - it raises the team’s collective intelligence. Also essential was having a team leader who let

People don’t get out of bed in the morning to maximise share price. They get out of bed to make a difference only promote strivers and Type A personalities, they’re sending a mixed message. When senior management is inattentive to the need for strong communication from the top flowing through the organisation, or there’s a disconnect between the work culture they say they’re striving for and the one that exists, the resulting vacuum allows people to create their own narrative, which can be divisive.” While unity is unquestionably a desirable organisational attribute, competition, which


the team members know how their work fit into the larger mission. Quoting one of the CEOs participating in the research, bottom line „to create unity. If people know you care about them, they will follow.” ■ For further information on this article or how we can help you please refer to our website at or call us directly at +30 210 32 17 666; +381 65 27 77 117


Business Simulation to Teamwork The basic resources of any company are its employees, and employees must possess sufficient knowledge and skills in order to achieve business goals. Today it is no longer enough to have traditional concepts of education in the form of various training courses and seminars focused only on the functions that employees perform


his enables employees to perform tasks under the auspices of their job description, where they achieve short-term individual targets in certain sectors, but not the company as a whole. A prerequisite for teamwork is that all team members recognise their own importance but, also their dependence on other team members. Only when this is achieved can sectors be expected to cooperate constructively and rationalise their decisions, because they become aware of the implications their actions have on other sectors and, ultimately, the profit of the company.

The main advantage of simulation lies in the fact that it ensures, in a simple and practical way, that even people who have no previous knowledge of finance come to understand how their actions impact on the company’s business performance. On the other hand, it is very important to have joint commitment and teamwork among all functions in order to achieve better financial results. • For whom are these training courses intended? - Due to its high flexibility and practical approach, the MBT simulation is intended and important for a wide range of participants: • Large companies - where participants can

• Directors and key employees in small and medium-sized enterprises; • Entrepreneurs. • To what extent do simulated business processes correspond to real situations and what benefits are gained by enterprises that have gone through your training? - The process of learning through simulation is connected to actual operating conditions and situations. All accounting documentation is simplified, but formally and technically adapted to documentation that companies normally use. The simulated business process corresponds up to 90 per cent with actual business processes, or almost fully simulates the real business environment.

• What novelties does your programme bring to the world of company training? - Business simulation Managing Business Today™ (MBT) leads parThe main advantage of simulation lies in the fact that it ensures, ticipants, in a realistic and direct way, in a simple and practical way, that even people who have no through all stages of operations. Parprevious knowledge of finance come to understand how their ticipants are divided into teams and actions impact on the company’s business performance each team manages its own enterprise. The teams compete amongst each other in achieving a larger market share be those employed at all management levels, One of the main benefits for a company is that and better operating results. While following through employees in different departments managers and employees will understand the a real business process, participants make all - procurement, accounting, sales, production, impact of their decisions on all other functional decisions with which they are typically conmarketing and internal audit; areas of the company, that they will take into fronted during operations, such as: investing • Students of economic sciences, who – for account the consequences of their decisions on in market research, conquering new markets, reasons known to us – leave university withother sectors, and thus also on the overall sucout any practical knowledge of the functioncess of the company. Using the MBT business recruiting and training new employees, procuring raw materials, developing new proding of a business; simulation can ensure a business’s long-term ucts, participating in tenders etc. The teams • Beginners in business who are overly focompetitiveness, improve communication and cused on the business idea, which is imporgo through various business cycles and at the teamwork between departments, and help mantant, but who neglect the real problems that agers make better decisions by taking into acend of each one they perform business analysis and prepare financial statements. count the activities of other sectors. ■ they will encounter in business;


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Entrepreneurship Creates New Jobs For Youth Norway is supporting Serbian pupils in acquiring entrepreneurial skills, thereby contributing to economic development and reducing the number of pupils that drop out of school. Furthermore, through several projects it is helping to bring practical entrepreneurship skills to the Serbian youth through informal education



nlike the German approach to dual education, where the country is more likely to educate the right amount of qualified workers for available jobs, in Norway just a fraction of pupils opt for a vocational education, while others pursue higher education. • What makes the Norwegian approach to dual education specific compared to other models? - In Norway the term dual education is understood slightly differently than in Serbia. The term as it is referred to in countries like Germany means that a company participates in a student’s higher education, but this is not common practice in higher education in Norway. At the high school level this is much more common - all vocational high school education in Norway requires practical experience; vocational high schools in Norway provide four years of education. The first two years are spent in school, learning the theoretical part, but also taking classes

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in subjects like Norwegian, English and Maths, in accordance with the curricula. The two last years are spent as a company apprentice. The companies that qualify for these apprenticeships are those that have relevant tasks enabled by the training and curriculum standards set by the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. • What percentage of Norwegian school pupils attends schools of this kind? - Vocational schools represent a small percentage of all education in Norway. There are around 72,000 pupils studying at vocational high schools (in 2015-2016). This accounts for about 40 per cent of all high school pupils. Of the pupils that start vocational high school education, only one in three complete all four years and receive their diplomas. Many pupils will later finish high school, but with general studies, so they can later start higher education. • How does the education system respond to the fast pace


of technological change and for which professions are most pupils currently being educated? - Norway is a small country of five million people, with an unemployment rate that is relatively low on a European scale (4.8%). Vocational education has so far provided the country with suitable amounts of skilled workers. The Norwegian school system is also focused on teaching basic skills in, for example, IT, which seems to be very beneficial for the country in the long run. Most vocational high school pupils choose subjects from either health or technical and electrical studies. Here we can also see a clear, traditional gender division.

to create a pool of trainers and training methodology, and to provide efficient and practical training in business planning. • Human resources represent the greatest national capital today. How does Norway approach the management of its human resources in this era of globalisation? - The Directorate for Education and Training has the overall re-

• How flexible is dual education when it comes to higher levels of specialist studies? - Dual education probably gets less flexible with the level of your degree. Norway currently doesn’t have a flexible dual education system when it comes to higher education. Still, there have been attempts to focus more on entrepreneurship. This is already a priority in the curricula, and it appears as though that focus will continue to increase. In this area, Norway probably has a lot to learn by looking to the dual education models of other countries. • How do businesses participate in the directing of educational programmes? - When a pupil is working for a business as an apprentice, the business is responsible for the execution of tasks, but the learning goals of the pupil are set by the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. Businesses participate to a very limited degree in the administration of the educational programmes to this date. The Norwegian school system is focused on teaching the pupil When it comes to apprenticeships, basic skills, including in IT, which seems to be very beneficial the pupils are free to apply for the posifor the country in the long run tion themselves. There is some degree of flexibility, but the job description needs to follow the curricula set by the Directorate. sponsibility for supervising nursery schools, education and the • How is Norway contributing to the introduction of dual edgovernance of the education sector, as well as the implementaucation in Serbia? tion of Acts of Parliament and regulations. The Norwegian La- Norway has been involved in several projects related to youth bour and Welfare Service (NAV) is responsible for implementing and entrepreneurship in Serbia. Examples of this include a labour market policy. Their objective is to facilitate a match in project on the development of entrepreneurship in the curthe labour market between job seekers and vacant positions, and to ensure a comprehensive follow-up of people who need ricula for high school pupils. Here the aim was to provide young work-orientated assistance to find employment. people with basic skills for entrepreneurship, thereby contributing to economic development and reducing the number of • How important is HR for state institutions and how imporchildren that drop out of school. Another example is the Business Innovation Protant is this issue for Norway’s state administration? - The HR organisation for state institutions is very important and grammes. BIP is a Norwegian organisation that has had must be seen as a tool to implement the goals of the particular several projects with the purpose of introducing practistate institution. It needs to be flexible in order to respond to cal entrepreneurship skills through informal education to new challenges and change in the demand for competences. ■ youth aged between 18 and 35 in Serbia. Their aim has been HUMAN RESOURCES DUAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRAINING (VET) SYSTEMS

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Every Client Counts! CityScope is a recruitment agency that primarily focuses on the executive search approach to its clients‘ demands


very client, whether a current or a potential one, is considered equally valuable and important by CityScope. CityScope’s team of consultants is fully committed to an individual approach to each client, using tailor-made solutions and thorough analysis of the labour market.

started business. However, further changes are needed and we believe that they will happen with the planned strategic steps towards dual education. At the moment, some segments of the labour market are too demanding for the current education system, while measures to synchronise supply and demand have had either insufficient or no effect on other segments. Yet professionals adapt quickly to employers’ needs and their willingness to undergo additional training helps bridge the gap quickly. An increasing number of international

companies recognise the value of management trainee programmes. These programmes help young people find out what their interests and fields of study are worth, by giving them a chance to try out their skills and knowledge in the real business world and providing opportunities for the best ones to become part of the team.

• What is your opinion of current trends • With your core business of cooperation on the HR market from the aspect of comwith top and middle management, how do patibility of the Serbian education sysyou find potential candidates, given the tem with employers’ needs? obvious shortage of trained professionals? - Based on our many years of experience as employment agents, we can say that the situation on Each recruitment process involves using tailor-made solutions the labour market when it comes and comprehensive analysis of the labour market and current to the compatibility of our educasituation, with particular attention to the qualifications and tion system and what business certificates that a client specifies as critical for a particular job needs is far better and brighter today than in 2004, when CityScope

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- Each recruitment process involves using tailor-made solutions and comprehensive analysis of the labour market and current situation, with particular attention to the qualifications and certificates that a client specifies as critical for a particular job. Our role is to give the client an insight into the market and, if there are no suitable or highly trained professionals, to offer an alternative solution, a fresh, different approach, and to find the best way forward in cooperation with the client. Over the past 13 years, we have encountered difficulties in finding candidates that meet all requirements. As a recruitment company we see this as a professional challenge. Our priority is to offer our clients a suitable solution based on our experience and best practice, detailed analysis and labour market statistics, and to propose alternatives for successful completion of the process.

and what tests do the candidates usually have to take? - CityScope was involved in a project for USA Homeland Security from 2010 to 2013. Our task was to search the labour

ning and a large-scale project, client and candidate satisfaction was high and the project was successful. • A great number of top young professionals leave Serbia for better pay and lifestyle. Is there a way to reduce this trend? - As experts with years of experience we respect every professional’s right to choose their own career path. We believe that with motivation and hard work everyone can find a suitable position and build their career. Since we keep in touch with leading international companies in their respective industries, we can say that employers are actively looking for ways to motivate and retain their employees through professional training and by involving them in professionally challenging and interesting projects.

• Do you get the same demands • Do you think that dual education for qualifications from public and could help reduce unemployment private companies? in Serbia? - CityScope’s portfolio consists - In times of rapid market change mostly of international companies. and job differentiation, dual educaThere are of course different requirements from one industry or business to another when it comes In the selection and recruitment procedures that we manage, we to candidates’ qualifications and use the SHL assessment method supported by CEB competencies. We have also worked with some state companies, always tion is a good step towards synchronising the markets in Serbia and the region and get to our mutual satisfaction with how the formal education system with the demands in touch with potential candidates. The process developed and with its end result. of the labour market, i.e. employers, which client was looking for IT professionals Although it is ill-advised to talk about should result in a reduced unemployment and mechanical and civil engineers. The the differences between private and public rate in the country in some categories. We process itself did not include testing companies, when establishing regional business centres their requirements do differ and believe that through cooperation and a joint ‒ the candidates were assessed in F2F we have to adapt our queries accordingly. and open approach of all parties to business interviews in Vienna and London. In the demands, requirements and opportunities, selection and recruitment procedures that • CityScope has expanded its business schools can produce competent young people we manage, we use the SHL assessment to the Middle East and Eastern Europe. whose knowledge and skills will be useful to method supported by CEB. What qualifications are most sought there employers. ■ Considering that this was a long-runHUMAN RESOURCES DUAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRAINING (VET) SYSTEMS

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Vocational Education

and Training (VET)

Vocational training as a motor for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Europe is recovering from a severe financial crisis and unemployment rates, particularly for young people, are high. There are 76 million people in Europe with low or no qualifications


s global competition spreads, those with low or no formal qualifications are finding it harder to gain employment. While wages are typically rising for highly skilled workers, they are falling for low skilled and unskilled workers. As well as facing competition in the global economy, Europe has an ageing society. As a result older workers need to update and broaden their skills through further training. This, alongside the financial crisis, emphasises the need to reform European economies and societies. To support this reform, vocational training needs to be designed in ways that encourage adults to update their skills throughout their working lives. Some 50% of Europe’s young people complete their education and enter the labour market via a vocational education and training path, going on to a wide range of jobs in both industry and services. To maintain Europe’s competitive position, reforms to vocational education and training are therefore essential. Future jobs require people with high level qualifications. In the current economic environment, Europe needs to make sure that all its young people acquire the skills that help them enter the job market. Europe also needs a flexible workforce that can respond to developments in the ‘green economy’, increased competition and rapid technological change. ■

AUSTRIA Vocational education and training (VET) is very important in Austria. Initial vocational qualifications can be obtained by attending a dual VET programme (apprenticeship and part-time vocational school) or in full-time schools. After completing their compulsory schooling period, about 40% of young people in Austria are trained in a legally recognised apprenticeship occupation, another 40% opt for a VET school or college. This means that some 80% of Austrian pupils follow a vocational education and training pathway. While full-time VET schools and colleges can be organised in different forms with courses of different lengths (duration between one and five years), dual vocational training usually lasts for between two and four years, in most cases three years. Graduates of an apprenticeship programme acquire a full vocational qualification of a high standard. The training in an apprenticeship occupation is open to all young people who have completed nine years of compulsory schooling. No specific school qualification is required to access an apprenticeship. There are significant differences between the dual training system and the training in full-time schools. In the dual training system, apprentices receive practical on-the-job training within companies (which constitutes the major part of the programme), as well as special theoretical instruction at vocational schools.

DENMARK Vocational education and training (VET) in Denmark is key to ensuring a flexible and skilled workforce able to adapt to changes within the labour market. This gains even more relevance as Denmark is witnessing the accelerated erosion of un- and low-skilled jobs, as a result of the global financial crisis. VET has the role of equipping young people and adults with higher (new) qualifications in response to rising levels of (long-term) unemployment. The traditional strong partnership with social partners that characterises the Danish VET system is instrumental in ensuring the responsiveness of education and training provision

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to the changing needs of the labour market, enabling both enterprises and individuals to adjust their skills and competencies accordingly. Recent reforms of the VET system have focused on making it simpler, more transparent, more coherent and flexible to both the needs of the labour market and social challenges. Furthermore, the aim has been to make the system more individually focused and tailored to both strong and weak learners. Denmark has the highest participation rates for adult education and continuing training in the EU.



The German vocational education and training system, known as the dual training scheme, is highly recognised worldwide due to its combination of theory and training embedded in a real-life working environment. The main characteristic of the dual system is cooperation between, for the most part, small and mediumsized companies, on the one hand, and public vocational schools, on the other. This cooperation is regulated by law. The German dual system offers an excellent approach to skill development, covering initial vocational education and training, further vocational education and training, careers, employability, occupational competence and identity. Thanks to the dual system, Germany enjoys low youth unemployment and high level skills. In Germany, about 50 per cent of all school-leavers undergo vocational training provided by companies which consider the dual system the best way to acquire skilled staff.

NETHERLANDS VET is the main supplier to the labour market in the Netherlands, often regarded as the ‘foundation of the economy’: approximately 40 per cent of the Dutch working population have completed a vocational course to at least a secondary vocational training level. There are currently 630,000 students in the VET sector, 485,000 of whom take part in regular VET courses. The remainder follow adult education programmes. The government invests about €2.6 billion annually in this sector-approximately 12 per cent of the total budget for education. The VET sector consists of 70 colleges, comprising VET colleges (ROCs in Dutch), agricultural VET colleges and specialised vocational colleges. The ROCs offer VET in technology, economics, personal/social services, healthcare and adult education. Specialised colleges offer programmes for one branch of industry only, such as graphic art and design, butchery, house painting, furniture making, fishing etc. VET provides several programmes for young people from the age of 16 to develop their skills. Students can choose between a school-based learning route with full-time education and a work-based route (BBL), in which students combine work and study. In both routes and at every training level, students must spend part of their time on work experience in order to obtain a diploma.

NORWAY Norway has a VET system built on the tripartite cooperation principle. A system of cooperation, mandated by the Education Act, is established both at national and regional levels, involving both employers’ and workers’ unions. At the national level, the National Council for VET (Samarbeidsrådet for yrkesopplæring), a body for cooperation on vocational education and training, appointed by the Ministry, gives advice and takes initiatives within VET. One Vocational Training Council (Faglig råd) exists for each VET programme. At the regional level, there are county vocational training boards (Yrkesopplæringsnemnder), one in each county. These boards have specific advisory tasks, as stated in the Education Act. The organisation of pupils/apprentices is represented in both the National Council for VET and the County Vocational Training Boards. Education and training is conducted both in schools and in enterprises. Both public and private enterprises accept apprentices and are approved as training enterprises by the county. Training Offices and Training Circles, enterprise driven cooperation ensuring apprenticeship place provision, have become increasingly common.

SWITZERLAND In Switzerland the majority of adolescents commence vocational education and training (VET) after completing their lower-secondary education. There are VET programmes for some 230 different professions. In Switzerland, many professional qualifications are obtained in upper-secondary education, while in other countries the same qualifications are obtained in tertiary level education. The Swiss system, with its dual-track VET programmes (apprenticeship), differs from most foreign systems of vocational and professional education and training. VET is predominantly based on a dual system: practical training (apprenticeship) of three to four days at a training company is supplemented by theoretical classes (vocational and general educational subjects) of one to two days at the VET school. In addi-

tion, the VET students attend inter-company courses, in which they enhance vocational practical skills. Vocational education and training (VET) can also be completed at a full-time vocational school. In the French-speaking and Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland, the proportion of full-time vocational schools is higher than in German-speaking Switzerland. Pupils who have completed lower-secondary education and have reached the age of 14 can apply for an apprenticeship at a training company or (in some cases passing an entrance examination is required) enrol at a full-time vocational school. The training company decides on the selection procedure. In general, criteria for selecting a VET student include the student’s performance in lower-secondary education.


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Dual And Vocational Educations

A dual education system combines apprenticeships in a company and vocational education at a vocational school in one course. This system is practiced in several countries, notably Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway but also in many other countries worldwide.

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Human Resources Dual And Vocational Education Training (VET) Systems  
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