Explore with REF the Transition between Education and Employment for Roma at Serbian Visions

On the occasion of Serbian Visions, the country’s largest development fair that features outstanding examples from Serbia’s economic and civic life, the Roma Education Fund (REF) will present the preliminary outcomes from its newest two-year project, “Improved Education and Integration Opportunities for Roma in Serbia, Employment Empowerment of Young Roma and Reintegration of Returnees.”*  

From 12:00-2:00pm on Sunday, November 27, REF representatives will lead a session on the interventions and policies that are shaping the education horizons and employment prospects for Roma in Serbia. REF will be joined by members of SeConS development initiative group and RomaVersitas Vojvodina for a discussion informed by REF’s achievements so far and to explore how to build more bridges among businesses, schools and young, educated Roma who are entering the labor market.

Serbia has been marketing a well-educated and skilled labor force to foreign investors. However, Roma young people are largely left out of the labor market (14% employment rate for Roma youth compared to 38% for majority youth). In order to better prepare Roma youth, REF is actively developing the human potential of qualified Roma high school graduates to be included in Serbia’s future growth potential. Since 2005, Roma Education Fund has invested over €7.3 million in projects and programs that are proven to help Roma students graduate from primary and secondary education. In 2017 alone, 500 Roma boys and girls have accessed scholarship and mentoring opportunities made available by the Roma Education Fund.

With Serbia poised to become a candidate for EU membership while undergoing deep structural reforms, REF is redoubling its efforts to sustain and scale up the impacts evident in its programs – vis-à-vis dropout rates, transition between grades, and ultimately graduation with an academic or vocational qualification – in future state policies. REF will continue to push to reach Serbian strategic decision makers, to convince them that investing in Roma education and employment makes sound economic sense and enables Roma employment in all sectors, be it agriculture, government, industry, IT, manufacturing or services.

To learn more, join REF at Serbian Visions from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM on Sunday, November 26 at the Hotel Radisson Blu Old Mill in Belgrade. Serbian Visions is organized by the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, in association with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

For more details related to the event, you can contact Jelena Bojic

For more on Roma Education Fund in Serbia, please see our country fact sheet in English or Serbian and project update on “Improved Education and Integration Opportunities.”

*“Improved Education and Integration Opportunities for Roma in Serbia, Employment Empowerment of Young Roma and Reintegration of Returnees” is implemented by the Roma Education Fund’s branch office in Serbia and funded by the German Financial Cooperation implemented by KfW on behalf of the German Government – Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.