Tag Archives: labour market

Active labour market measures in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Solving instead of amortising the unemployment issue

Article published by CPU think tank (ENG & BHS) and Reforma.ba (BHS)

Verzija na bosanskom jeziku dostupna OVDJE.

Finding a job is anything but easy for a person in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Sluggish economic growth results in a slow pace of jobs creation, thus offering very limited opportunities for job-seekers. On the other side, tectonic changes in the economic setup that occurred during 1990s and 2000s – including deindustrialisation and the collapse of many giant state-owned enterprises, which were employing large amounts of low-to-medium skilled workers in ex-Yugoslavia – ended in massive redundancies of hard-to-employ workforce. It created harsh structural imbalances on the labour market, considering that many of these workers could not find job that matches their skills and abilities, thus slipping in long-term unemployment.

Furthermore, education system, which should, more or less, follow the market dynamics and meet economic demands for relevant and up-to-date skills, often plays a quite opposite role, widening gap and perpetuating skills-related discrepancies on the labour market. In such environment, picture of the labour market, as captured by the Labour Force Survey, is pretty discouraging: despite some slight recent improvements, unemployment is persistently high, at the rate of 18.4% in 2018, while this rate is much higher for youth, 38.8%. Around 82% of unemployed people are looking for a job 12 months or more. Majority of recent university graduates experience unemployment spells, being unemployed in average, as some recent findings presented by Bartlett, Branković and Oruč suggest, for the period of 8 months after the graduation.

Inadequate support from the public employment services in the job seeking process

However, an unemployed person in BiH would receive a little support from the public employment services (PES). Once a person enters the employment bureau, an officer would ask him/her for the basic information and finish necessary paperwork – maybe giving a few high-level advice. After that, relationship of unemployed person with PES comes down to periodical reporting to the bureau. For the sake of illustration, research conducted by Bartlett, Branković and Oruč in 2016 suggests that almost 88% of recent graduates receive none or a very little support from PES during the unemployment period.

If the same unemployed person was lucky enough to live in Denmark, support received by the employment services would look quite different: in addition to registration, he or she would receive extensive support in terms of counselling and guidance through the job-seeking process. Employment bureau officer would create an individual employment plan to adapt job-seeking path to the specific profile of the job-seeker in terms of skills, previous experience, and educational background, i.e. to his/her already established career path and potentials. As the part of employment support, officer would enrol an unemployed person in best-fitting programmes of the so-called active labour market policies (hereinafter: ALMPs).

Continue reading Active labour market measures in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Solving instead of amortising the unemployment issue