Business to foster skills development in the Western Balkans

The Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum (WB6 CIF) and the European Training Foundation renewed their commitment to working together to support skills development in countries aiming at joining the EU through a boost to skills development in cooperation with education and the world of work. Both organisations signed in Trieste, 12 September 2019, a new agreement to reinforce a long-lasting cooperation and pave the way for mutually supportive regional endeavours on skills development.

“A joint regional voice for the Western Balkans is essential to ensuring countries’ common concerns and challenges for human capital development in the European integration process receive the attention required so that the skills agenda is propelled forward”, said ETF Director, Cesare Onestini.

”WB6 CIF is focused on development of regionally-based occupational standards to enhance employability of young people in the region, increase harmonization of national regulations in order to facilitate regional apprenticeships and labour mobility within the region and enhance cooperation between the private and public sector in vocational education and training. ETF will be our valuable partner in this matter“, added Chamber Investment Forum Secretary General, Safet Gërxhaliu.

The idea for the agreement was conceived at the Western Balkans Summit in Poznan, July 2019, where Ministers of Economy were discussing the implementation of the Berlin Process. The purpose is for both organisations to act in synergy and maximise the impact of human capital development in the Western Balkans region.


The Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum is a professional association of chambers of commerce and industry from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, established and headquartered in Trieste in 2017. The aim of this platform, which plays an import role in the context of the Enlargement Agenda and more precisely the Berlin Process, is to provide a joint voice to the business community (350.000 companies, mostly SMEs) in the region and to facilitate inter-business contacts and promote the region as one investment destination. An important part of this agenda is enhancing connectivity among people and businesses in the region and with the EU as well as providing the right skills for the labour market. The Forum is active in the area of vocational educational training, work-based learning, qualification development and its use, development of entrepreneurial and digital skills – all with reference to partnership between education and the business community.

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