The EBRD is joining forces with the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development to ensure that graduates of vocational and high schools get the skills demanded by the labor market, a press release said on Wednesday.
The EBRD press release said that skill mismatches have a negative effect on the competitiveness of the Serbian economy and limit productivity and innovation, while driving unemployment and the brain drain, especially among young people.
The EBRD and the Ministry of Education will work with private companies to develop education policies and standards of qualifications to ensure that young people acquire the skills required by employers. “The EBRD and the Ministry will support the activity of sector skills councils and work towards the development of dual-education programs that combine apprenticeships at private firms with training at vocational schools,” it said.
The press release quoted Minister Mladen Sarcevic as saying that the support and joint efforts of the ministry and EBRD is very important, “especially today when it is necessary to respond rapidly to many challenges, including the stabilization and advancement of opportunities in Serbia after the pandemic.”
EBRD Regional Director for the Western Balkans and Head of Serbia Zsuzsanna Hargitai said that engaging at sector level means that the direct participation of employers and workers, together with government and training providers, will ensure the relevance of vocational training. “This will be particularly important in the post-Covid-19 recovery period,” she said.
The EBRD has invested more than 5.8 billion Euro through 260 projects in Serbia to date to is support private-sector development and the transition towards a sustainable, green economy, the press release said.