The “First Job” project will benefit 320 unemployed people in the Birač region

Jul 20, 2017

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Embassy of the Netherlands in BiH signed an agreement for the “First Jobs” project worth almost 655,000 US dollars, which will support 320 unemployed people in the Birač region, especially women and youth, to attain their first jobs. The project will support the municipalities in the Birač region - Bratunac, Milići, Srebrenica, Vlasenica, and Zvornik in their efforts to build more inclusive labour markets.

“This project will introduce innovative measures to tackle employment of vulnerable and disadvantaged people, and foster a more inclusive labour markets. This project will assist the Birač region in its efforts to maintain its path to inclusive economic growth,” said Mr. Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov, UNDP BiH Deputy Resident Representative.

“The project is meant to offer people a future, to give a finishing boost to employment opportunities for the inhabitants of the wider Srebrenica region, while targeting in particular young people, women and the vulnerable to find their first working-experience in one of the companies in the region,” said H.E. Jurriaan Kraak, Ambassador of the Netherlands in BiH.

The Birač region is a home to about 115,500 people and, like the rest of the country, the region is plagued by the high long-term unemployment rate. In 2016, UNDP BiH conducted a study of labour force supply and demand in Bratunac, Milići, and Srebrenica, and the study revealed that, the overall unemployment rate was almost 50%, and meanwhile the average rate of unemployment for those under the age of 30 is approximately 67%. Besides, most of the unemployed people are long term unemployed, without work experience.

The “First Jobs” project in the Birač region aims to assist people who face barriers in accessing the labour market and employment. The project will mainly benefit the long term unemployed persons, and those who are unlikely to be reached by the standard active labour market policies. This includes the long term unemployed, inactive rural women and youth, who are facing particular problems in transitioning from school to work. The project will also support people who are facing stigma or discriminatory attitudes, such as people with disabilities and Roma population. At the same time, the project will mobilise disadvantaged groups to explore their own needs and resources to enable their access to labour markets.

The project will also support institutions in the Birač region, including public employment services, centres for social welfare, local private sector actors, and local authorities in the areas with particularly severe employment problems. Civil society organisations, in particular those providing services for the most disadvantaged groups in the society, are also one of the main partners and the beneficiaries of the project, as are employer organizations and worker organizations.