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Informativa 2018: Helping young people choose their pathway

Informativa 2018: Helping young people choose their pathway

Ljubljana, 29 January 2018 – The Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre was busy and bustling last Friday and Saturday as crowds of young people gathered at the 10th Slovenian Educational and Career Fair called Informativa to get informed about possible learning and career pathways. The European Social Fund (ESF) offers valuable help in this process as it supports young people by providing a range of educational programmes, helping them find a job and tackling their career challenges. The young got to know this and much more about the ESF with the help of virtual reality which took them to space, through one-on-one talks with scholarship recipients, entrepreneurs and other interesting guests, through ingenious ideas of rapper Trkaj, and even through chemistry experiments.

The Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy, the Public Scholarship, Development, Disability and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia (Fund), the Employment Service of Slovenia and the Ministry of Public Administration which all implement a series of ESF-supported programmes and projects participated in the Fair.  

Competence Centres for HR Development are an important player in this field, as they co-finance a range of training programmes in companies, including those aiming to strengthen management and sales skills, or support knowledge building in the field of marketing, design, digitisation, etc. These Competence Centres were established with the aim of improving employee competences to enhance their adaptability, employability and efficiency, while supporting linking and sharing of good practices to contribute to the competitiveness and innovativeness of Slovenian economy. The 11 Competence Centres thus already involve 250 companies with over 35,800 employees, including high-profile companies such as Gorenje, Port of Koper, Cosylab, Kolektor, Sava turizem and Perutnina Ptuj.

Rapper Trkaj asked the Minister of Public Administration Boris Koprivnikar how he decided on his career path as he was giving a presentation on the services of Digital Slovenia which are being developed by the Ministry of Public Administration with support from the EU funds. The Minister also spoke about the portal eUprava (eAdministration) and explained that pupils and students can now fill in an online application to get a subsidised pass. He also underlined that young people can register their business through the eVem portal and do electronic business, and also reminded them that the website Stop the Bureaucracy was created to collect proposals for improving public administration services and deliver measures to cut red tape.

The representatives of the Fund talked about scholarship opportunities (Zois Scholarships, Ad futura Scholarships for Education, scholarships for skill shortage occupations), while Ana Vehar, a postgraduate student in Berlin, Jan Grašič who is following a bachelor programme in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the University of Applied Sciences in Krems, Austria, and Matevž Poljanec, a Computer Science student at the University of Cambridge all shared their ups and downs of studying abroad.   

Internet plays an indispensable role in job seeking, and young people who master social media are better off. How to achieve this was discussed by the representatives of the Employment Service of Slovenia which implements a number of active labour market policy programmes (Project Learning for Young Adults, incentives for sustainable jobs for young people, on-the-job training, programmes Where and How and getting informed at the Career Centres).  

Hands-on experience is becoming increasingly important. The Fund showcased several interesting projects (Creative Path to Knowledge, innovative student projects for social benefit) which help young people gain already during schooling the practical experience, competences and skills that will be sought after by potential employers later on, and thus embrace a proactive approach to planning their career path or creating their own workplace. For example, students of the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Maribor designed their own autonomous agricultural robot. Which was not the only unusual thing at the Fair, by the way. Young people put on virtual reality glasses so as to be able to take a trip to space. The glasses were designed at the Centre of Space Technologies Herman Potočnik Noordung which offers a number of cultural and educational activities aimed at young people and which also received funding from the EU.

EU funding supports a number of programmes that get young people into work (including apprenticeship), offer on-the-job training, encourage participation in formal education or short-term training programmes, foster creation of new businesses through cooperation with experienced companies and mentors, support enhancement of skills responding to newly emerging demands etc. Funding opportunities are available at www.eu-skladi.si. The website is run by the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy. The dedicated website offers Fina EU točka, a user-friendly information service providing relevant information on funding opportunities which are available through different sources of funding.

 

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