Building a Better Future for Young People
In a country where more than 60% of young people are unemployed and where 75% of young persons’ share an opinion that the unemployment is the biggest problem they are facing, the establishment of 16 centres providing assistance specifically to young people in the employment process is a positive example of change that can be made in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) selected the story from BiH as its cover story - as an example of good practice in its new booklet describing development results in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The story from Bosnia and Herzegovina in this booklet gives examples and prospects of what the five UN agencies: UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, IOM and UNV provide for young people all over BiH via UN’s Youth Employment and Retention Program.
“There are common qualities to transformational change, regardless of the context or country in which it takes place”, said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, from UNDP Headquarter in New York.
YERP, in partnership with the governments from all levels, providing counselling and assistance to more than 35.000 young people, enabling 2.400 of them to gain first working experience and providing more than 1.600 of young people with the IT and English courses free of charge, via 16 Centres for Information, Counselling and Education. The Facebook page established had more than 11 million hits in its first year.
One of their users is Aleksandar Vrhovac. At 25, Aleksandar had no previous work experience. He knew nothing about how to present his skills and knowledge. Due to inability to find solution for his problems, he decided to seek help at one of the CISO centres. „I did not want to leave Bosnia, although I was constantly searching for a job. I really wanted to find a job, but I was discouraged by so many unsuccessful attempts.“ At the CISO, he finally learned how to make a successful resume and how to market himself to prospective employers. One of his next interviews landed him a job at Moj Market, a retail chain. „CISO staff really encouraged me and taught me how to prepare for a job interview. It gave me confidence, and that has helped me to show what I know in a best way. I’m so happy to be able to work.“
Like many other countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina is facing the economic crisis and the lack of jobs at the labour market. This is why the support to CISO centres provided not only by UN agencies, but also by BiH governments and the Public Employment Institutes was of such extreme relevance. While over the longer term, Bosnia and Herzegovina will need a lot of additional investments into its labour market in order to reduce the unemployment among the young people, the CISO centres serve as a good practice that should continue, providing the young people to gain skills and first working experience needed to get jobs, even in these difficult times.
The booklet as well as the full story on Aleksandar Vrhovac and CISO centres can be found by clicking HERE