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Fighting unemployment: a challenge requiring cultural change

Year/Date: 05/10/2017


Representatives from Montenegro spent two days at the ETF in Torino to exchange good practice with their counterparts from Portugal and Italy on matching supply and demand in the labour market.

Montenegro is a country in the Western Balkans on a path to European Union (EU) membership. Through initiatives coordinated by the EU and the action of the European Training Foundation (ETF), it is developing better systems to match the demand and supply for jobs, and the integration between the needs of the labour market and education and training provision. This means better opportunities for building careers and getting jobs at home.

Throughout the exchange, participants agreed that having an impact is not an easy story. “Italy has made a true cultural change in its approach to unemployment: it has switched from traditionally passive approaches (financial support to jobless citizens or companies in crisis) to actively engaging employees in job search and skills creation projects” said Lara Raimondo, Expert in Labor Policies and Monitoring from the Agenzia Piemonte Lavoro, the employment agency of Italy’s Piemonte Region.

If public backing is key, it cannot succeed alone: the unemployed are expected to remain active and take responsibility, and public services cannot be effective without the private sector. “In schools teachers have to teach to female pupils that they can really create their own enterprises”, added Mladen Perazić, Head of the Education Department of the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro.

The participants also attended “Io Lavoro”, the biggest Italian job fair taking place in Torino on 4-5 October 2017. The visit was an opportunity to explore ways to support the demand and supply of jobs, namely initiatives like the WorldSkills Championship: a competition for young talents who will compete in crafts such as hairdressing, waitering, cooking, and bricklaying. In its 2016 spring edition, one in three participants at the fair found a job.

The visit of Montenegrin representatives reflects the EU’s active commitment to creating better lives. Indeed, Europe’s number one priority is boosting jobs and growth: through its investment plans the EU supports Member States as well as its neighbouring countries in promoting inclusive growth, job creation and sustainable development. As part of the external action of the Union, the European Training Foundation is the EU agency that supports 29 countries in developing such opportunities for all citizens via education, training and labour market.

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