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Serbia

Serbia

6. Education and Training

6.7 Skills for innovation

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  1. Innovation in formal education

  2. Fostering innovation through non-formal and informal learning and youth work

Innovation in formal education

A specific goal of National Youth Strategy 2015-2025 is dedicated to youth entrepreneurship. Responsible for implementation for the specific goal: Ensuring stimulating conditions for development of youth entrepreneurship are the ministry in charge of employment, ministry in charge of economy, ministry in charge of youth and the ministry in charge of education. The Strategy defined the expected results and planned activities:

  • creation of incentive framework for public policies that defines youth entrepreneurship and its environment;
  • developing mechanisms for acquiring entrepreneurial knowledge and skills as well as financial literacy within education;
  • developing sustainable support programmes for young people opting for self-employment;
  • creation of the conditions for the development of youth social entrepreneurship based on social understanding and support for entrepreneurship and innovation.

As previously presented in the chapter 3.8 Development of entrepreneurship competence and Eurydice study on Entrepreneurship Education at School in Europe, skills for innovation are fostered through curricula as Entrepreneurship separate subject or/and extracurricular activities. Entrepreneurship is recognized as an important cross-curricular competence and learning outcomes are defined for all ISCED levels. Numerous ISCED 3 schools implement teaching and learning arrangements that promote entrepreneurship as a key competence. Entrepreneurial spirit is fostered through identification of chances, initiatives, creativity, innovation and risk taking by the students.

The Law on the Foundations of the Education System envisages schools to establish pupils’ cooperatives in order to develop the extracurricular activities and the entrepreneurial spirit. In this regard, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development has in 2018 adopted the Bylaw on pupils’ co-operatives specifying the management and running of the pupil’s cooperative.

The subject Entrepreneurship is compulsory in the significant number of VET schools. It was developed for 50 schools from five fields of work and the curriculum matches each of the educational profiles. The approach is multidisciplinary, and focus is on practical work. The subject aims to develop entrepreneurial and business knowledge, skills, behaviours, values and entrepreneurial way of thinking. It also covers the knowledge and skills necessary for professional development, job-hunting and self-employment (including the development of a simple business plan).

Top-level authorities provide an official list of approved textbooks for the curricula, including entrepreneurship education, thus attributing a certain quality label to the selected teaching materials. Continuing professional development (CPD) courses for teachers also have been developed to support them.

Fostering innovation through non-formal and informal learning and youth work

Various institutions and partner organizations in Serbia are involved in entrepreneurial learning. One of such organizations isJunior Achievement Serbia which is a part of a global network of Junior Achievement Worldwide, the world's largest entrepreneurial education program. The implementation of the program is carried out with the help of teachers trained through seminars certified by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and the business sector, which contribute to the youth education process through mentoring, lectures and participation in competitions. The implementation of programmes is financially, mostly supported by the business sector. The activities of this program relate to entrepreneurship, experiential learning, the development of skills that contribute to employability, economic and financial literacy, innovation and creativity. Unique educational methods have been developed, based on the partnership of local and international companies and agencies, with the aim of helping students acquire entrepreneurial knowledge and skills.

Fund for Young Talents under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Youth and Sport, among others, has a task is to provide awards to secondary school students for their achievements in recognized competitions in the country and abroad. The calendar of the competitions is published for each school year and cover competitions in school, municipal, regional and republic level related to school subjects. Some of them especially target innovation skills, such are musters of pupils’ cooperatives and companies, competitions of pupils’ research and art works etc.

Decade of Entrepreneurship is a set of governmental measures not directly focused on youth, however it does bring together various initiatives, measures and projects aimed at developing the entrepreneurial spirit among young people: trainings, professional development, retraining and employment support, as well as professional and consulting assistance to improve business. Entrepreneurship Portalis developed within the Decade of Entrepreneurship. It is administered by the Ministry of Economy provides information on:

  • support programmes for SMEs and entrepreneurs,
  • support in the form of free advisory services,
  • other initiatives, measures and projects that the SME sector can find useful, 
  • good practice examples.

The list of subprogrammes offered on the portal indicates that innovation skills are given significance through:  Innovation Co-Financing Program and Early Development Programme -implemented by Serbian Innovation Fund. Further, Competition - The best technological innovation is implemented by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development. Entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises, high tech companies, secondary schools and student teams can participate in the competition.

Youth Entrepreneurship is another portal maintained by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry aims to provide important information about financial and administrative aspects of starting a business. This portal among other, provides a list of support programmes for beginners in business.

As part of the project "Our community, our future - greater cooperation and employment of young people", an interactive platformneetmladi.info dedicated to youth in the NEET situation was published. The project seeks to ensure continuous and systematic support to young people in the NEET situation. Through working with civil society organizations and institutions, project implementers develop and advocate services that provide support to young people in accordance with their specific needs. The platform will also include a practical guide for organizing quality work placements and field youth work, as well as research on youth and entrepreneurship.