direction they are taking. After they have successfully
assured that all the schools in the country are
connected to the Internet, they are now focusing
on making technology, ICT and mathematics
interesting to pre-school and primary school
children. The next challenge will be to introduce
such programmes at secondary school level.
In terms of non-formal education, researchers
are very interested in the blended learning
that occurs in social places such as telecentres
providers. Only when the employers are on board
“Telecentres are a unique leaning
environment that bring along
benefits such as socialising, soft
skills and potential for innovation.
All of these offer the right mix for
young people to learn about skills for
employment.” said Maria Garrido
from the University of Washington.
What about youth as entrepreneurs?
A job in sight?
Not all agreed on whether entrepreneurs are born or
made, but it seemed evident that entrepreneurship
will not be the silver bullet for young people and
cannot replace the importance of finding and keeping
good quality jobs. Questions from the audience were
raised on whether we are preparing young people
well enough for being entrepreneurs. For some
panelists, entrepreneurship is simply another skill, a
sort of “super skill” on top of the other employability
skills. What is common to all young people, whether
they are looking for a job or creating jobs, is the
need to develop and practice their self-confidence.
‘Employer engagement’ is now a buzzword in the
world of employability but it should in fact be the
reality of all training-for-employment programmes
for young people. Courses are only effective when
they provide skills that are in demand from the
job market. Panelists agreed that there is a lack
of information on skills. Young people cannot
easily find out (and neither can their parents o r
teachers), which skills are in demand. And to
make matters more complicated, the demands are
changing by the day, making it difficult to predict
what technical skills will be needed in the future.
“Our task - at the ICT hub in Belgrade,
but also of society in general, is
to recognise entrepreneurs as
such and help them learn about
concrete business skills so they can
turn their ideas into businesses
and employ people.” said Kosta
Andric from ICT Hub Belgrade.
Employability was defined by one speaker as a
process, rather than an outcome. However, another
participant in the
that the process
in an actual
job for it to be
matters in any
or project is
that the young
work at the end.
We need to have
a holistic approach and never lose that objective
from view: a young person in the workforce.