Knowledge to Everyone
The Innovative System for Knowledge and Skills Improvement – Knowledge to Everyone project is financed through EU funded “Socio-economic Development of the Danube Region in Serbia” project, implemented by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). The Project received funds in the amount of 263.000 euros from EU and is implemented by the Administrative and Professional Service for the Implementation of the Integrated Regional Development Plan of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina in cooperation with six renowned partner institutions.
The aim of the project Knowledge to Everyone is to create new employment opportunities in Vojvodina, especially in the field of tourism, food processing and making crafts. Project provides innovative skills development opportunities in order to close the gap between labor market demands and the available workforce lacking adequate qualifications. To provide sustainability of professional development, project is establishing a distance learning system, where recorded courses and teaching materials will available to all unemployed persons free of charge. The long-term effect of the project is not only to positively affect professional lives of the individuals but also the burning economic and social issue of high unemployment rate in the area.
First trainings were organized in March, when 50 unemployed persons from Vojvodina started to prepare for their new careers as chefs, bakers, confectioners, or souvenir and crafts artists. Those are the skills that the local tourism and hospitality industry lacks. As some of them will start their one businesses, curriculums also included marketing, finance and management skills. Education center is located in Novi Sad, but candidates coming from far away locations do not need to worry as the Center provides full board and lodging on their premises for the duration of the course. And if they wish to refresh their knowledge at any time in the future, they might do that through online distance learning system.
“I am very satisfied with the vocational training for chefs. I improved my skills and knowledge and gain self-confidence for future work in the professional kitchen. Project “Knowledge to Everyone” and Educational Center provided me with all conditions to master my cooking skills, and I especially enjoyed the instructors’ approach who really gave their best to fully equip us with necessary skills” – says Gordana Culibrk, kindergarten teacher who participated in the training.
“When I applied for this training, I expected intense practical training and that is exactly how the training was organized. Trainers have introduced us with theoretical bases and then let us work independently with their supervision and constant suggestions. I believe this course is solid base for future work in a professional kitchen. We also learnt here that if you are interested in something and willing to put in work and effort, you can achieve a lot”, says Zoran Stankovic, geometer, who undergone the cooking class.
“It is unbelievable that something like this is available in Serbia, completely free of charge. We only regret the time went by so fast, and three months of course rather felt like three days”, say Vinka Pantelic, food professing technician and Gordana Grubac, textile engineer.
The project plans to train 290 unemployed persons in the first phase. In the second phase, the representatives of 30 organizations and small enterprises from the sector of tourism as well as 300 unemployed persons will attend the training programs via the distance learning system, which, after completion of the project will remain available for future use.