How Job Clubs make a difference!
The Youth Employment Project (YEP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina changed the way young people are supported during the entry phase into the labour market. Overall, more than 3,000 participants found employment within six months. More than 25 Public Employment Services (PES) adopted the approach developed by YEP.
Finding a decent job, and getting actively involved in labour market in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) as youngster, seems to be a “mission impossible". In BiH, this is especially hard to achieve, since the unemployment rate is 40% (and at the beginning of the project in 2008 it was close to 60%). Supported by the Swiss Development Cooperation, the Youth Employment Project (YEP) contributes to the improvement of job intermediation by introducing new procedures and services in Public Employment Services. The project started in 2008 and will be active until 2020.
One of the new services is a Job Club (JC). An active labour market measure (ALMM) whose purpose is to provide continuous job search assistance to unemployed persons through peer group support and guidance. Group counsellors (aka Job Club leader) are working with a group of unemployed persons for three weeks, four days a week, following specified programme and activities for each day. The idea is to make job hunting a job itself. The original concept was developed in both Great Britain and the United States, but is widely accepted and implemented worldwide. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the programme is introduced by YEP in cooperation with Public Employment Services.
More than CVs
The JC model developed by YEP prepares the unemployed young person to respond to employers' demands in the best and most effective way. A unemployed person who is member of the specific JC group adopts the basics of business communication, and recognises the importance of teamwork and group support in job search. During a three-week training programme, members gain knowledge and skills relevant to job search. This further influences their self-confidence and motivation along with chances for labour market reintegration.
JC differs from typical training programmes because it’s an interactive experience and includes full involvement of its members.