Bosnia and Herzegovina: BiH Youth Employability and Retention Programme


The employment situation for young people in Bosnia Herzegovina is challenging. The country is still marked by the residual tensions of war, political dynamics between levels of government are complex, policy implementation inefficient, and the transition economy is operating at below potential. In 2012, 60% of the country's young people were jobless. The Joint Programme worked closely with Government, the private sector and civil society to improve the employability of BiH youth and provide new entry points to the labour market.

This was achieved by:
  1. Increasing the capacities of the education system and local communities to improve youth employability;
  2. Enhancing the capacities of Public Employment Services and Civil Society to deliver employability services;
  3. Maximising the positive effects of migration and minimising the negative impact of irregular migration.
At the local level, apart from massive training opportunities introduced through the programme, municipality databases on out of school children were set up. 
Some specific achievements include:
  • 17 Centres of Information, Counselling and Training (CISO) were established and gave assistance to more than 20,000 unemployed youth, career orientation to more than 21,000 students, and training to more than 11,000 young people in employability skills and job seeking techniques. The Centres also prepared over 5,000 individual employment plans for jobless and vulnerable women, and supported community volunteer outreach facilities in schools and local civil society. 
  • Through the CISOs' work, more than 3,000 young people found jobs. 
  • Six roundtable discussions were conducted with private, public and civil sectors representatives, a Task Force for Youth Work Experience was established and a draft Youth Work Experience Policy/Situation Analysis was prepared. 
  • The programme worked to improve the statistics on migration, including youth migration, and a mechanism for monitoring migration flows was established. Institutional arrangements were strengthened to reduce illegal migration and to promote the opportunities and benefits of legal migration. Two circular migration schemes were established which allow young people not only to gain work experience abroad, but also to earn enough to be able to help out their families financially. An awareness programme highlighted the dangers of illegal migration using communication tools such as Facebook.


Click  for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 08 Jan 2010 - 30 Jun 2013
Net funded amount $5,999,720
Participating UN agencies IOM, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF
National partners Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, and partners at entity, cantonal and municipal levels.
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