According to the OSCE, 654,000 people have left Serbia from 2000 to date, most of them under 25 years of age.
On the other hand, in April, the National Employment Office recorded the lowest number of unemployed persons since records for Serbia are held – a total of 568,500.
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The OECD data shows that 117,000 left in 2014 and 2015, and nearly 100,000 people in 2017 looking for a new life and work somewhere abroad. This data was alarming enough for the state that, at the beginning of this year, it decided, do something to prevent economic migration, and thus formed a coordination team made up of experts to tackle the problem.
After four months and three meetings, the last of which was held at the end of March, there were no major breakthroughs, and team members, consisting of university professors, company representatives, ministry representatives, SANU and trade unions have not yet submitted all their proposals, as originally planned. However, their task was completed by young people gathered in the Union of Independent Trade Unions, who presented their proposal to the team members in March and sent a written version of the proposal to the Ministry of Labour.
“The government and the National Employment Office have proposed for the young people who graduated high school to get a job paying 28,000 dinars immediately after graduation, while the university graduates should get jobs paying at least 30,000 dinars and three to six-month job contract. Although this is good, it’s not good enough. Our request is for the validity of the job contract to be extended to last at least a year because when you go to a job interview, most employers want the candidate to have at least one year of work experience,” says Ružica Grabovac, President of the Youth Section in the Independent Trade Union.
“Their (the government’s) proposal is directed more towards investing in youth offices in municipalities because the majority of school graduates are not sufficiently informed about their rights and options, or how to look for a job,” Grabovac adds.
“We have also asked that the minimum wage for young people should equal the minimum consumer basket because there are 350,000 people in Serbia living on the minimum wage. We told the Government that it was illogical that a litre of fuel costs more than one hour of work,”- Grabovac underlines.
At the third meeting of the team formed by Minister of Labor Zoran Djordjevic, all participants were again asked to submit their proposals and suggestions on how to stop the migration.
Medical workers and construction workers, as well as electricians, drivers, cooks, waiters, doctors, mechanical engineers and construction engineers, mostly leave Serbia for work.
This post is also available in: Italiano