The project “Socio-economic empowerment of the Western Balkans” with a budget of Euro 3.35 million, is supported by the German government and aims to strengthen regional stability in 2021 until the end of December 2022. The project is implemented in Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Albania and Montenegro.
As part of the program component for the revitalization of the economy in Montenegro 20 unemployed persons completed six-months on-the-job trainings. 12 unemployed and 12 employers were paired in the North of Montenegro, where unemployment is highest, and eight in the rest of the country.
At the end of June 2021, six-months on-the-job training contracts were signed between the unemployed and employers and Help. 15 unemployed expressed the desire to attend certified trainings for certain occupations. 9 are women and 11 are men, which is in line with Help’s policy of supporting marginalized groups, including women. Most interest was expressed for IT training (13), carpenter (2), cook (1), excavator (1) and tailor (1).
It is worth mentioning that the representatives of the Montenegrin government, among their priorities, have repeatedly promised to support the education of personnel in the IT sector, as one of the key occupations in all areas of economic and social development.
In parallel with the beginning of the six-month on-the-job trainings, as envisaged by the project, employers had the opportunity to apply for necessary equipment for business development, which in this case benefited 19 out of 20 employers.
The overall value of professional equipment provided by Help within this project was Euro 46,135.50. After the 6 months on-the-job training, employers are obliged to hire the trained for another year. This phase of the process began in late January 2022. Given that that on-the-job trainings have been provided for deficient occupations, some of the employers announced that within their financial capabilities a certain number of the employees could be kept in permanent employment.
Another component of the project is to improve the employment opportunities of prisoners after their release and the economic empowerment of the Directorate for the Execution of Criminal Sanctions in Spuž (UIKS). With this activity Help continued its longstanding cooperation with UIKS. As part of the project, the renovation and reconstruction of the pig farm within the premises of the prison was the main capital investment. The capital cost was co-financed by the prison administration. The works on the pig farm were completed in January 2022.
In addition to the reconstruction of the pig farm, a machine was bought – a system for knitting griffin iron worth Euro 23,000. Another intervention done was the reconstruction of the roof of the mechanic workshop – needed for the easier servicing of the prison’s vehicles. Finally, vocational training was provided for 4 prisoners, who received a certificates as cooks, which gives them the opportunity to find a work easier after their release from prison.