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The first virtual job fair was a great success

The first virtual job fair was a great success

The first virtual job fair in Serbia, which was organised by the National Employment Service (NES) with assistance from the global programme “Migration for Development” (PME), was held on 20 May 2021 via a modern online platform that enabled the 7,500 registered participants to get in touch with representatives from 70 companies. Over half of those taking part were women, and more than 1,500 visitors were returnees. Around 2,800 jobs were on offer at the fair, mostly in engineering, mechanical engineering and information and communication technology, but also in crafts such as tailoring and sewing or in sales, translation and production.

The PME's far-reaching conceptual and logistical support for the NES and an extensive publicity campaign resulted in satisfied partners and an unprecedented success in terms of attendees. The fair was fully booked. The COVID-19 pandemic meant that all the advantages of the digital format, which is an integral part of the digitisation of Serbian government services, were fully exploited.

Services specifically for hard-to-reach groups

There were also three different online seminars running in parallel to the main programme. These seminars enriched the fair with content such as “How do I survive a job interview?” and “My rights when establishing a working relationship”, which is particularly relevant to groups that are difficult to integrate into the labour market,. These online seminars were attended by more than 2,500 participants.

The PME worked together with a local NGO (non-governmental organisation) to ensure the inclusion of members of vulnerable groups, especially returnees to Serbia. It has a close network, and supported the efforts of the NES branch to attract these target groups to participate. This included the NGO organising information events in the local communities, and referring anyone interested to the German Information Centre on Migration, Training and Employment (DIMAK Serbia). The NGO also provided break-out areas with hotspots on the day of the fair, and organised individual support regarding participation.

Easier access for young people

The PME used another local NGO to provide help to young so-called NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and women (including returnees) to enable them to access the job fair or make it easier for them to visit and talk to employers. Articles providing advice were also posted throughout the day on the well-visited DIMAK Serbia Facebook page.

The jobs fair was opened by the Minister of Labour, Employment, Veterans Affairs and Social Affairs of the Republic of Serbia and the heads of the NES and the Department for Development Cooperation at the German Embassy in Belgrade. The Minister reminded participants that in February 2021, Serbia adopted an employment strategy for the period 2021–2026. The government also adopted a three-year action plan in March which sets out the guidelines for developing employment policy in Serbia aimed at increasing the employment rate – always based on the principle of high-quality, sustainable and dignified work.

As of: 06/2021