3. Employment & Entrepreneurship
The situation of the young in Slovenia is defined primarily by the combination of considerable family support and prolonged inclusion in the (relatively socially-oriented and friendly) education system on the one hand, and the extremely uncertain labour market conditions on the other. What was particularly disturbing was the rapid growth in the share of unemployed graduates. Young people in Slovenia usually enter the labour market after concluding their education, and thus the majority of young people actively start seeking a job after the age of 20, especially in the latter half of their 20s. Due to their active presence in the education system, there are very few employed people below the age of 20. Statistics indicate that young people’s employment situation has been improving (youth unemployment has been gradually declining since), yet in 2020 the youth unemployment has slightly increased again, being now comparable to the percentage of young unemployed in the year 2017. In general young people remain one of the most vulnerable groups on the labour market.
Less secure and more flexible forms of employment have replaced traditional forms of permanent employment, e.g. student labour is the most common form of flexible youth employment. The new labour legislation enacted in 2013 introduced the concept of flexicurity. Flexibility is becoming more common in the Slovenian labour market; fixed-term jobs (with contracts that typically last three months to one year) are increasing in popularity.
There is no single public body responsible for youth employment and entrepreneurship in Slovenia. Different ministries and government offices are involved in the implementation of policies and programmes to address this issue, such as the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Family and Equal Opportunities; the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology; the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and the Employment Service of Slovenia. To fight against youth unemployment, the Slovenian government developed an active employment policy. Through programmes to foster employment, the ESS enables subsides or partial reimbursement of expenses to be provided to employers for hiring new employees.
To foster entrepreneurship among youth, the Resolution on the National Programme for Youth 2013–2022 was created in order to help youths begin their careers. Young entrepreneurs also receive a lot of information and financial incentives from the Slovene Enterprise Fund. The SEF offers financial support for newly established innovative enterprises.
Young people in Slovenia often find it difficult to reconcile work and family life, partially because employers perceive parenthood as disruptive to the work process rather than valuable. One of the main objectives of the National Programme for Youth 2013–2022 (Resolucija o Nacionalnem programu za mladino 2013–2022) is to make it easier for youth to coordinate work and family life.
Slovenia has not adopted any specific cross-border mobility programmes. However, some regulations regarding cross-border mobility were included in the National Programme for Youth 2013–2022. The EU Erasmus+ programme is the most important programme that promotes mobility.