29. 9. 2021.

IMPROVED EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONS FROM HARDLY EMPLOYABLE GROUPS IN NINE CITIES AND MUNICIPALITIES IN SERBIA

"During the two years of the Phase II Inclusion Initiative, 9 cities and municipalities in Serbia supported the employment of over 300 people and provided over 1,100 services in the field of sustainable inclusion and employment measures based on national and local strategic documents for over 700 beneficiaries. of which 50% are women, "said today at an online conference on the occasion of the completion of this phase of the Programme for Inclusion of Roma and other marginalized groups in Serbia, Aleksandra Dimić-Ugrinaj, leader of the programme implemented by GIZ within the German Development Cooperation.

"In addition, through public-private partnerships and various employment measures and support to entrepreneurship, from training, internships, mentoring, to grants for equipment and employment to small and medium enterprises, models have been piloted that can be applied in other local governments in Serbia and thus contribute to better training and positioning of citizens from vulnerable groups in the labor market and their inclusion in society. By strengthening the synergy and coordination of institutions at the national and local level, civil society organizations and regional development agencies, the implementation and monitoring of measures from the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma Men and Women for the period from 2016. to 2025. has been improved, "explained Dimić-Ugrinaj.

The conference, which was held online due to epidemiological conditions, was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, project partners from the Standing Conference of Cities and Municipalities SCTM, local governments and civil society organizations, as well as programme beneficiaries from Sombor, Novi Pazar, Valjevo, Bač ... In addition to these cities, project activities were carried out in Apatin, Kraljevo, Vršac, Požarevac and Raška. During the conference, a film about the experiences of users and the results of projects implemented in Pozarevac, Kraljevo, Sombor and Novi Pazar was shown.

"Projects within the Phase II Inclusion Initiative were launched with the intention of supporting Serbian cities and municipalities in their efforts to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for the employment of marginalized and hard-to-employ groups, with special emphasis on favorable employment conditions for EU returnees and other foreign countries, Roma and other hard-to-employ social groups such as young people, single parents, people from rural areas…. 50 cities and municipalities applied for the public competition with interesting project proposals, among which 9 were selected. All projects were successfully implemented, and the results achieved in some cities and municipalities are above our expectations, "explained Ivan Milivojević, Deputy Secretary General of the SCTM.

State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, Zoran Antić, thanked all participants in the project and stressed the seriousness of the state and its potential for development is shown through the attitude towards marginalized groups. "Such activities raise the general level of state and social development and contribute to Serbia's Euro- Atlantic integration," Antić concluded.

Partnership support for the implementation of the activities of the Phase II Inclusion Initiative was provided by the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, and the activities of the Programme Roma Inclusion and other marginalized groups in Serbia, which have been implemented since 2018 in partnership with the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue.