Transition from education to work: Serbia country report

Type Working Paper - ETF Working document
Title Transition from education to work: Serbia country report
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
This background paper aims to present an overview of information and knowledge available about the\nwider context in which the transition from school to work occurs in Serbia and hence to provide the\nprimary field research on school-to-work transition undertaken simultaneously by the Strategic\nMarketing with the necessary framework for analysis of empirical results obtained through the survey.\nBut it is also meant to serve as an input for national public debate on the subject, to be conducted\nwithin a wider international project of European Training Foundation.\n\nOne of the key points encountered frequently in various qualitative analyses of the current situation in\nthe field is that there is a sharp disconnect between the world of education and the world of work. Not\nsurprisingly, this is also the case with most of the surveys and research available on the subject used\nhere to prepare this overview – they approach the subject either from the dominantly labour market\nperspective or from the educational policy perspective. This duality is encountered also in the\npolicymaking arena, despite the pledges to the opposite by the relevant ministries and agencies. And\nthis duality is also firmly embedded in public opinion, as result of a long standing tradition.\n\nLabour market perspective is brought largely by the author’s rather detailed analysis of the data\ncollected by the two most recent available Labour Force Surveys of the Republican Statistical Office,\nfor 2004 and 2005, as well as by the summary information from earlier surveys, which have been\nconducted since 1995. In parts the analysis also uses results from labour market modules of a\ncomprehensive Living Standards Measurement Surveys for 2002 and 2003, conducted by a private\ninstitute using the World Bank survey methodology. Other important sources of information for both\nlabour market and education indicators are the two most recent Population Censuses of 2002 and\n1991, which also serve as main sources for demographic trends and projections. Projections of\nlabour market indicators by 2012 are adjusted from author’s own contribution to the National Strategy\nof Economic Development of Serbia (2006, forthcoming). Several recent summary assessments of\nSerbian labour market (World Bank, 2006, forthcoming; CREP, 2006; ETF, 2005; Arandarenko and\nPaunovic, 2005) are used to support the statements and findings throughout the text, as well as the\nsecondary sources of information.\n\nEducational policy perspective is brought mostly by the situation assessments, such as those of ETF,\n2005, and World Bank, 2004 and 2006, on one hand, and by the strategic documents outlining the\ndesired strategic and policy changes, in the first place those representing official national education\nstrategies. Unfortunately, very little is available in terms of empirical research of some peculiar\naspects of school to work transition.\n\nThe author himself is a labour economist rather than an education policy specialist; this has\napparently had an impact on the choice of material for analysis and on the dominant perspective from\nwhich the issues tackled by this overview are approached and explained.\n\nThe rest of the paper is organized as follows. In the second section, a general macroeconomic\nbackground is presented. Third section deals with the demographic background. Fourth section\nprovides information on general labour market situation, including basic information on labour market\ninstitutions. Fifth section gives projections of the dynamics of basic labour market indicators for the\nforthcoming six-year period. Sixth section looks at the youth labour market in more detail, while\nseventh analyses youth participation in education and links between educational and labour market\nstatuses, as revealed by the analysis of the two most recent available Labour Force Surveys. Section\neight presents conclusions of recent sociological research on the attitudes of the population toward\nwork, education and training. Ninth section provides a short situation analysis of the education system\nand gives main highlights from the education reform strategic documents. Tenth section analyzes\nfeatures of education system most relevant for school to work transition, which include extent of\nstandardization and patterns of differentiation. Eleventh section looks at the structure of labour market\nand its possible relation to school to work transition patterns. Twelfth section assesses the extent of\ninterfaces between the education and training, on one hand, and labour market, on the other.\nConcluding, section thirteen summarizes main findings obtained throughout the text.\n

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