Digital skills for young people of the Serbian community in Kosovo
It’s a well-established fact that Kosovo faces substantial challenges with unemployment. An outdated education system, misalignment of education and training with labor market demands, and widespread cronyism are often cited as the main culprits behind one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe.
Young people from the Kosovo Serb population are often excluded and below the radar of non-formal education initiative that have the potential to generate employment. There has traditionally been a lack of non-formal training centers for the Serbian community in Kosovo, which is why we decided to team up with local actors and find a solution.
At EYE, we’re always on the lookout for innovative non-formal training providers who offer demand-oriented and socially inclusive training packages. We’ve recently helped a passionate group of ICT professionals establish the Gracanica Innovation Centre (GIC) and now we’re helping them impart vital skills of the 21st century—such as creativity, communications, and the basics of robotics and computer programming— to Serbian youth in Kosovo.
Using ICT from an early age is an essential skill. Together, we set up the necessary infrastructure and equipment, developed curricula and reached out to the community so that everyone knows about this new opportunity. The center has engaged 3 trainers who now work to instill ICT skills in the Serbian youth. The center’s objectives are now to identify, train, and certify 60 youth, and match tens of them with jobs in the local business ecosystem.
Many of the participants, who are mostly in their teens, have already begun offering services to local companies: from networking of IT devices with local hotels and graphic design for products, to website creation and maintenance, these bright young minds are doing it all!
As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, it created a huge demand by hospitals and medical staff for protective equipment. As GIC already owned 3D Printers, they began printing face shields to help local hospitals who were struggling amid the shortage. The center donated more than 250 visors to medical staff and other institutions in need!