3.6 Integration of young people in the labour market
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The Employment Mediation and Unemployment Rights Act (Article 34) stipulates that the Government of the Republic of Croatia designates the action plans for employment, and the Minister of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy governs the committee responsible for these policies.
- Public works: socially beneficial work initiated by the local community or civil society organisations
- Employment subsidies (for youth aged 15 to 24): The CES provides a monthly lump sum support amount, regardless of the employer’s actual expenses. This support is determined based on the individual’s level of education, and there is an option to use tax benefits for the co-financed person. Support amounts can be adjusted during the co-financing period, with a minimum of 40% of the monthly lump sum or a minimum of 65% for individuals with disabilities
- Employment subsidies - green/digital (for youth aged 15 to 24): The CES provides a monthly lump sum support amount, regardless of the employer’s actual expenses. This support is determined based on the individual’s level of education, and there is an option to use tax benefits for the co-financed person. Support amounts can be adjusted during the co-financing period. Employers qualifying for green or digital work, as defined in the Glossary, are eligible for support amounts to a minimum of 45% of the costs, or a minimum of 70% for persons with disabilities
- Permanent seasonal worker: The measure provides financial support for individuals employed exclusively during a season, with no employment during the second part of the year. The employer is funded for 100% of the extended insurance expense during the initial 3 months, and for the subsequent period, not exceeding 3 months, 50% of the extended insurance is covered
- Apprenticeship grants: The measure aims to facilitate individuals to work, thus promoting their employment through the co-financing of the annual gross wage and other costs to employers as prescribed by this measure. The CES provides a monthly lump sum support amount, regardless of the employer’s actual expenses. This support is determined based on the individual’s level of education, and there is an option to use tax benefits for the co-financed person
- Apprenticeship grants – green/digital: The aim of this measure is the same as mentioned above, emphasising criteria for green or digital work, as defined by the Glossary
- Apprenticeship grants – public services: The measure aims to promote the employment of individuals with less than 6 months of registered experience in specific public services. The measure funds 100% of the apprenticeship amount of the annual wage, equivalent to 85% of the workplace's annual wage, and also covers the costs of transportation to the workplace
One of the new support programmes is the Support for Employment in Sisak-Moslavina County, in response to the earthquake that occurred in this area in 2020. Individuals registered in the unemployed persons register maintained by the CES, that live in the Sisak-Moslavina County area, and are aged between 15 and 24, are eligible to apply for support. Grant amounts can be adjusted during the co-financing period, and the lowest monthly gross amount of salary is determined based on the employment contract for the co-financed person.
The Voucher for Education is a new measure introduced by the CES in 2022. It involves co-financing education programmes aimed at acquiring green, digital, and general knowledge and skills. The voucher beneficiary can be an unemployed or employed individual, as well as other job seekers who have reached the age of fifteen and have completed at least basic education. The voucher co-finances the cost of education programmes offered by education providers listed in the Catalogue of Skills and Programmes.
The CES provides support measures for youth through CISOK centres. These centres employ job recruitment specialists who are trained for effective communication with young people, conducting group work, and organising workshops for young people. CISOK centres provide counselling and support in job search, conduct workshops on active job seeking, offer employment mediation services, grant access to computers and portals with vacancy databases, facilitate the publication of curriculum vitae on the Job Market portal, deliver thematic lectures on important employment-related topics, and provide information on active employment policies.
Regulations promoting labour market flexibility are outlined in the Labour Act of 2014. The legislative framework does not specifically target young workers. Nevertheless, young workers are primary users of the most flexible forms of employment, mostly through the Agency for Temporary Employment.
Security provisions for young employees and young job-seekers
Measures facilitating transitional employment periods or mobility between jobs are provided through the Youth Guarantee. This involves securing a quality job offer within 4 months of leaving or completing education, or entering unemployment, regardless of whether an individual is registered with CES or not.
Pre-qualification within the CES and access to lifelong career guidance centres are the primary mechanisms facilitating young people in finding employment. In addition to information on potential employment and employment programmes, these centres offer tools for self-informing and assessing competencies, educational opportunities, labour market trends, and knowledge bases. The centres also offer individual and group information sessions, presentations, and workshops.
Parental leave is the main tool for young people to balance their private and work lives. Parental leave can be used within 12 months of the first and second child’s birth and extended up to the third year for the third child.
Parents of children with developmental difficulties are offered part-time work. Outside this framework, part-time work is infrequently utilised and is contingent on the agreement between the employer and the employee.
Working from home, as a flexible form of engagement, also depends on the agreement between the employer and the employee and is utilised to a limited extent.
There are no incentives or measures for including and retaining young women in the labour market.
The funding for the employment measures comes either from either the national budget or European programmes, such as the European Social Fund. The Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy is the main body responsible for administering the financing of employment measures. The CES is the primary provider through which the money is allocated to the beneficiaries of the measure.
In 2022, a total of HRK 1 188 784 810.88 was allocated for employment measures. Sources of funding were the state budget, the European Social Fund plus (ESF +), and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
Mechanisms and indicators used to assess the quality of employment programmes are based on the number of beneficiaries categorised by specific characteristics, including age, gender, profession, educational status, work experience, type and size of the company, etc.. Based on these categorisations, monthly and annual statistics are generated and monitored through the CES publications. If necessary, the CES adjust the conditions for implementing measures in a particular year based on their implementation.
The Council for the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan was established to monitor the implementation of the Youth Guarantee (YG) measures. The Council adopts annual reports on the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan, using them as a basis for providing recommendations for further implementation. There are Annual Report on the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan.
In 2016, the CES commissioned the Institute of Public Finance to conduct an evaluation of participant, mentor, and employer experiences regarding the Occupational Training without Commencing Employment measure.