The Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on Friday presented the Private Sector Youth Initiative project which would give university students, based on paid training in Croatian companies, greater chances in finding employment.
The project, envisaged to last 18 months, will begin in December and initially students will be offered at least 100 paid training positions in renowned companies.
HUP director-general Davor Majetic said the project was aimed at enabling all young people to acquire skills and know-how that would be of use in getting hired because the current education system did not make students sufficiently ready and competitive for the labour market.
The project will also give employers a chance to identify the best students and keep them, as companies have a hard time finding quality personnel and this is the right way to keep talent in Croatia, he added.
EBRD director for Croatia Vedrana Jelusic Kasic said youth unemployment in Croatia was 40% and that the message of the project to young people was that there was work in Croatia and that training would be paid.
She too called for continuing to encourage cooperation between the private sector and schools to advance students' skills.
Several big companies, including Atlantic Grupa, Agrokor, Erste bank, INA, HT, Pliva and Podravka, as well as some faculties in Zagreb, Osijek, Pula and Rijeka, have expressed interest in participating in the project.