A representative of the NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro attended the online conference “Voices of youth on the socio-economic impact of Covid-19 on youth in Europe and Central Asia” organized by the European youth for change group. Participants were from the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
– The first topic was: What are your suggestions for supporting the transition of young people from schooling to employment? Participant comments are as follows:
Participants believe that more should be reflected on young people and society and suggested that young people should just go further and follow their dreams. They also think that schooling and finding passion is key while the opinion of one participant was different. She thinks that young people are not prepared enough and that the solution is internships and more practical knowledge for them to learn how the world actually works. Her proposals for easier transition of young people from schooling to employment are market research and market needs and adapting the education system to market needs. She believes that better computer knowledge, online courses, real practical work, internships and similar things contribute greatly.
– The second topic was how we can connect the academic field with the real needs of the labor market.
Participants suggested that more young people attend vocational schools and stated that from only a few areas in schooling it is allowed and you have the opportunity to find and follow your passion.
– When it comes to the third topic on how we can ensure that young people achieve the necessary skills for the future, participants believe that participants are more ready for the past than for the future. The unexpected situation with Covid-19, which caught us, showed that the whole world was completely unprepared for anything like that and that we should learn how to do our jobs online. Some participants said that it will be necessary for the developers to use their head because in 15 years we will have robots that will take over jobs like waiters and similar jobs. Others suggested that the education system should reduce the number of subjects so that young people could pay more attention to those subjects that prepare them for life and work. The last suggestion was that the entrepreneurial spirit in young people should be awakened.
Asked to rate the role of key actors in the private sector, government, civil society, the ratings were:
Government – 1
Educational institutions – 2
Private companies – 3
Youth organizations – 4
Youth – 5
Media – 6
– The government should create an environment and provide financial support.
– Educational institutions are in second place, because they need to develop entrepreneurial thinking.
– Private companies should be open to cooperation, providing internships and exchanging experiences.
– Youth organizations, at least in Montenegro is such a case, are the ones who work on this topic more than any other and they should continue with support and education, with the support of the state and private companies.
– Young people are obliged to be proactive and not wait for something to happen, but to look for opportunities on their own, because there are many of them.
– The media are important for raising awareness and can promote young entrepreneurs
Participants also discussed ideas for creating sustainable jobs for young people. The ideas were IT education, good salary, renewable energy, entrepreneurship… It was also said that jobs are not safe, secure and sustainable.