With a youth unemployment rate of 62 percent, Bosnia and Herzegovina has struggled to extend economic opportunity to all who are entering the labor market. The country’s small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are poised to offer employment, but young people lack in-demand skills, and few formal structures exist to link youth with industries where they could find jobs.
The USAID-funded Partnership for Innovation (PI) project provides relevant workforce development programs to youth in Sarajevo, Tuzla, Banja Luka, and Mostar, helping them develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the local economy. At the core of PI trainings is EDC’s Work Ready Now! program, which enhances entrepreneurship and employability among youth participants.
Through the PI project, EDC is helping Bosnia and Herzegovina create a more robust, technology-focused workforce. The project’s activities include the following:
- Support workforce development trainings, mentorship opportunities, and internship programs for young market entrants in specialized, market-driven information and communication technology (ICT) programs
- Conduct workshop-style ICT Bootcamps for young market entrants
- Help SMEs identify key customer segments, respond to evolving trends and customer demands, and improve business processes and marketing strategies
- Support two major ICT conferences for SMEs, ICT industry technology vendors, young market entrants, and SMEs from other industry sectors using ICT technologies for conducting business
By the end of the project:
- 2,000 youth will have completed 24 internship programs, 8 work-readiness courses, and 15 advanced software programming trainings.
- More than 300 youth will have obtained employment following participation in project programs.