The Economic Pillar of the “SDGs for ALL” Platform organized an online conference „SME Serbia 2030: Skills development as a prerequisite for domestic economy development”, on March 3rd, 2022. The main focus was on skills of the future, which will meet the growing needs of the economy, and provide decent work and good standard of living as well.
The first panel assembled Neda Milanović on behalf of National Employment Service (NES), Mirjana Kovačević on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS), Ljiljana Pavlović on behalf of the Serbian Association of Employers (SAE), Nebojša Matić on behalf of Mikroelektronika enterprise and Slađana Milojević on behalf of Fashion Apparel Cluster FACTS.
As the key challenges at the Serbian labor market, the panelists pointed to the discrepancy between the skills of the unemployed and the skills employers need, long-term unemployment, inactivity of youth, aging workforce, and a long process of on the job training. Despite their flexibility, attracting adequate workforce is especially challenging for small domestic enterprises, as larger enterprises with well-established mechanisms of recruitment offer more predictable career path. It is positive that the state and employers along with their associations expressed their interest in finding solutions for these issues, and it additionally restores hope that all the actors are ready to cooperate and unite around the common objective – creating a dynamic labour market of decent jobs.
The second panel assembled Vesna Fabian on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Srđan Verbić on behalf of FEFA University, Branka Anđelković on behalf of the Public Policy Research Centre, Ivan Vilus on behalf of the LUKOWA company, Mirjana Bojanić on behalf of the Education to Employment Project and Đorđe Ćelić on behalf of Business Incubator Novi Sad.
The second panel focused on the future of work and education, with a focus on preconditions, profiles and skills the economy will need, and which will provide decent work and good standard of living. The discussion also considered other effects and challenges the future will bring, mainly through globalization and technical progress. Recently, the Ministry of Education invested significant efforts, and recognized how important it is to include the stakeholders from the sphere of economy in formulating education policies – from creating educational programs and plans to their implementation. Following challenges are to be expected in the future: lifelong learning, generational gap in digital literacy, new models of work arrangements, rights and security of workers, career guidance and soft skills.
The event was part of a broader discussions within the SDGs for ALL Platform and is expected to result in recommendations for improving SME position, and further ensure sustainable development and decent work in accordance with the 2030 Agenda.
The recording of the conference is available in Serbian on CEVES’s facebook page.