17. 10. 2019.

New employment opportunities for Roma youth after completing skills training

Training certificates in vocational and work skills awarded to young Roma men and women

Novi Sad, 17 October 2019 – At the ceremony held in Novi Sad, after completing training courses organised by the Educational Centre for Vocational and Work Skills Training, 63 participants received certificates on successfully completed training and are now ready to seize their opportunities in the labour market. The young unemployed Roma have been trained in this state accredited institution in occupations such as hairdressers, pedicurists, manicurists, construction machinery operators, bakers and accountants.

The training courses were organised under the “Inclusion of Roma and other marginalised groups in Serbia”, a project implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) with the support of German Development Cooperation. The overall objective of the training programmes is to support inclusion, economic empowerment and employment of persons from particularly vulnerable groups, by increasing their chances in the labour market and reducing their long-term unemployment.

Provincial Deputy Prime Minister and Provincial Secretary for Economy and Tourism, Ivan Đoković, as co-organiser and host of the ceremony, welcomed the participants and stressed that the Novi Sad Education Centre follows the Strategy and Provincial Employment Action Plan proposed by the Provincial Secretariat for Economy and Tourism to the Provincial Government, and that this is just one in the series of measures. “We believe that the unemployed Roma and unemployed members of other national communities are an issue that particularly affects marginalised and hard-to-employ groups, often excluded from production processes and education system. We have therefore decided to lend our support to the Education Centre and GIZ to recognise and represent those groups in our training profiles. The Secretariat has in its calls awarded additional points to women’s entrepreneurship and people with disabilities, Roma and other socially disadvantaged categories,” Đoković explained by further adding the necessity to seek and reach a common ground regarding the presence of a significant issue, that being economic migration that affects all social classes equally.

Dr Nenad Ivanišević,Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Zorana Mihajlović and representative of the Coordination Body, explained how the Government of AP Vojvodina, together with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, is vigorously committed to solving numerous problems Roma community is facing. “Serbia is the only country in the region that has a Deputy Prime Minister at the head of the National Coordination Body for Monitoring the Implementation of the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma, which speaks volumes about how strong the political will is for the active implementation of the Strategy. We enjoy significant support from the German Development Cooperation and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany as one of the largest donors in the area of social inclusion in Serbia,” he underlined.

Aleksandra Dimić-Ugrinaj,Project Leader for the “Inclusion of Roma and other marginalised groups in Serbia”, has congratulated the trainees on their successfully completed training and stressed that for them, this is only the first step in professional development and securing of better living conditions. “So far, in cooperation with the Educational Centre for Training in Vocational and Work Skills, support was provided for skills training of over 150 Roma women and the implemented measures are sustainable because they are based on trainees’ interests and labour market needs. The results of the survey, conducted in collaboration with the National Employment Service, show that the employment rate of all skills training participants has reached 80% in the first 6 months after completing the training. The results also suggest that after completing their courses trainees had a 45% higher chances for getting a job, compared to the unemployed who have not taken part in skills training,” she underlined and added that cooperation with the private sector and individual employers is of key importance in this process. “The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, in cooperation with the Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Zorana Mihajlović strongly supports the implementation of the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma, which includes supporting the activities envisaged by the Strategy and empowering the stakeholders involved in its implementation, both at the national and local level,” Dimić-Ugrinaj explained.

The young trainees expressed their undeniable satisfaction with the opportunity to gain skills that are in demand in the labour market that will allow them to actively seek employment and promote their professional development and professional advancement.

The project “Inclusion of Roma and other marginalised groups in Serbia” is being carried out in cooperation with the Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Zorana Mihajlović, who is also the Chairperson of the Coordination Body for Monitoring the Implementation of the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma in the Republic of Serbia for the period 2016 – 2025. Project activities aim to improve the framework, structure and mechanisms for implementing the Strategy at both national and local levels, while influencing a change in attitudes in the society towards marginalised groups in Serbia.