Sarajevo hosts first regional ‘Skills Show’ of high school students

Sarajevo – The first regional Skills Show, aiming to link commercial and education sectors in order to improve the overall quality of education in the region, motivate young people to choose vocational schools and ultimately influence the increase of the employment rate, kicked-off in Sarajevo today. The two-day event will merge the format of professional conference, fair representation of employers interested in establishing cooperation with vocational schools and competitions of these schools.  

“There is no easy recipe for job creation. It requires a complex set of policies across different ministries and a coordinated effort of entire government. RCC has placed a strong emphasis on human capital development policies geared towards opening opportunities for people to start or widen their businesses. Many reforms have already been started to address these challenges in all of the SEE economies. Topics of ensuring quality of the education and the future skills needs will be addressed at the policy dialogue today”, said Gazmend Turdiu, Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Deputy Secretary General, in his opening remarks expressing the hope that the policy dialogue and the skills show will contribute to coordinating and strengthening the vocational education and training systems in the region and provide opportunities for young people  not only in finding jobs but creating new ones as well.

Elmedin Konakovic, Prime Minister of Sarajevo Canton, opened the conference saying that he is very happy that such an event is being held in Sarajevo and that it has a regional character. “It is very important that all of us take part in exchanging these experiences since we are all facing the same challenges.”

Clare Sears, Director for Western Balkans at British Council, stressed that the main focus of the British Council in the Western Balkans is to provide youth with skills that will enable them to have a prosperous future. “We do this in several ways – by involving employers in education system, developing entrepreneurial spirit with young people and raising awareness on the importance of skills for 21st century. This is our first Skills Show which would not have been possible without a number of international partners”.   

The two-day programme of the Skills Show will consist of the conference “First work experience” gathering over 30 experts, teachers and school directors from Western Balkans and Great Britain, presenting skills development, teaching and learning, aiming at the improvement of the quality of teaching and development of entrepreneurship. Parallel to this, Exhibition and Skills Show will offer space for employers and vocational schools to exchange ideas, share work, products and presentations about innovations and their successful implementation. In addition, students will take part in a competition under the mentorship of teachers and employers. 

“Unfortunately, in many countries vocational education is not sufficiently valued and does not have good reputation. This is wrong since vocational education offers young people the skills and qualifications needed for the labour market”, added Barbara Datwyler Scheuer, Director of Cooperation at the Swiss Embassy.   

Monika Mott of Kultur Kontakt Austria emphasized that it is always good to have a direct contact with young people. “In addressing the vocational education reforms we usually talk about students but we rarely talk with them. Kultur Kontakt Austria supports Skills Show because it enables such dialogue,” voiced Mott.

16 schools from Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as their colleagues from Albania, Serbia and Montenegro will showcase their talents and skills in four industry sectors: health and beauty, tourism and service industry, wood, construction and steel industry, and IT and engineering.

'The Skills Show: Sarajevo 2016 is organised by the British Council, in partnership with the Regional Cooperation Council,  Embassy of Switzerland in Bosnia and Herzegovina, KulturKontakt Austria (KKA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), United Nations Development Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNDP), OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, World Bank,  and the European Union Special Representative in BiH.

More information on the programme of the event is available at 





Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat

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