AER Peer Review: Third stop in Krapina Zagorje
Krapina Zagorje (HR), 31 January 2012
Only a week after Croats said YES to EU membership, the Croatian County of Krapina Zagorje was the host of an AER Peer Review on youth employment, organised in the framework of the “Promoting Youth Employment” (PYE) project. Experts from abroad, young people and local stakeholders have gathered in order to discuss and analyse the current situation of youth on the regional labour market. As a result of the five-day event, the experts will create a tailor-made list of recommendations on how to improve the existing employment opportunities for youth and how to create new ones.
Young people aged 15-29 account for one fourth of the region’s population. The latest statistics (December 2011) indicate that the youth unemployment rate in Krapina Zagorje remains stable at 34.5%, only slightly higher than Croatia’s national average of 33.1%. Yet, the same statistical figures show that there is a lot at stake: the groups mostly affected by unemployment in Krapina Zagorje are aged 20-24 (46.7%) and 25-29 (34.4%).
The region has worked at improving young people’s employability, mainly by investing in their competences, as these are considered essential for a more effective transition from education to employment. When designing its youth employment policy, the County Council has consulted youth representatives, local employers’ associations and other relevant stakeholders. Some of the county’s initiatives include:
• Homer Project: Launched in 2009 by the Krapina Zagorje County Council, the project has led to the implementation of four training courses targeting pupils in secondary schools and corresponding to the region’s distinct labour market needs.
• Partnership for Development: Supported by the EU, the Partnership was set up to track types of jobs for which there is a lack of skilled trained workers. School curricula are then designed to fill in these skills gaps in the labour market and unemployed young people are enrolled in these programmes.
• County Youth Action Plan: Initiated and designed by young people, the Plan draws on the willingness of the Krapina Zagorje County Council to actively involve youth in matters that directly affect them. Targeting young people aged 15 to 29, the Plan emphasizes the importance of including youth in a wide array of policies, related, inter alia, to education and new skills, employment and entrepreneurship, social protection or active participation. Launched in 2006, it has been revised and now includes new chapters important for youth, such as democracy, the European Union and non-violence.
Siniša Hajdas Doncic, Krapina Zagorje County Prefect: “With its policies and concrete programmes and activities, Krapina Zagorje makes the greatest possible effort to ensure the quality of life and work of the young generation. We strongly support education and we provide high school and student scholarships. Our County has been a partner in several EU co-funded projects that aim at supporting employability, and our development strategy takes care of young people in almost all its elements. As a sign of our will to concretely help young people and offer them vocational training and first work experience, our County also hires interns every year”.
The AER peer review visit organised in the context of PYE will help the region prepare and implement its first youth employment action plan. Its outcome will be presented to the wider public during the PYE Final Conference which will be held on 23 May 2012 in Brussels (B).
This press release is supported by the Community Programme
for Employment and Social Solidarity – PROGRESS (2007-2013).
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 250 regions from 35 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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