EBRD fosters work based learning for young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Nibal Zgheib


BIT Camp was supported by the EBRD to advance diversity of skills in BiH

  • Creating routes from education into employment for young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina through new  EBRD’s Private Sector Youth Initiative
  • Enhancing partnerships between schools  and employers to offer practical work experience to gain the skills needed in the labour market today
  • Donor support from TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund

The EBRD is introducing its flagship youth training programme into Bosnia and Herzegovina, helping young Bosnian women and men gain access to work experience and the skills the local labour market needs.

Supported by the TaiwanBusiness - EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund, the EBRD’s Private Sector Youth Initiative (PSYI) provides work-based learning, mentoring and networking opportunities by linking academic institutions with private businesses to offer internship opportunities to students in line with recognised international standards.

According to the UN’s International Labour Organisation, in 2018 Bosnia and Herzegovina experienced one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world at 47 per cent. This coincides with widespread shortages of suitable workers for entry-level vacancies, reflecting a mismatch between the supply and demand for skills.

During the launch of the PSYI, EBRD Vice President, Policy and Partnerships, Pierre Heilbronn, and the Executive Director of the Youth Communication Centre, Sasa Markovic , and the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Zenica-Doboj Canton, Spahija Kozlić, signed two Memoranda of Understanding at the 2019 EBRD Annual Meeting in Sarajevo today.

The goal of the new partnership is to work on creating access to better and more relevant skills – and ultimately job opportunities - for young women and men across Bosnia and Herzegovina by enhancing the cooperation and communication between education providers and the labour market.

The initiative started in Croatia where it created 620 internship opportunities within its first year of operation (October 2016 – September 2017), linking 140 private sector companies with young people from more than 40 academic institutions. This resulted in 250 students completing an internship.

The EBRD is also a major investor in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since the beginning of its operations in the country, the EBRD has invested almost €2.3 billion in 159 projects.