27. June 2017. 09:06

Seminar NQF Serbia – From development to implementation; getting organised for better qualification

The Seminar – National Qualifications Framework in Serbia – from development to implementation; Getting organised for better qualifications, was held in Metropol Palace hotel, on the 27th of June, 2017.

The event was organised by the European Training Foundation (ETF) in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development.

In addition to the representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and the representatives of the ETF, Mr Shawn Mendes, regional manager for Serbia and Ms Mirjam de Jong, specialist in Qualification System Development, the important guests of the seminar were also representatives from the EU Delegation, including Mr Steffen Hudolin, Head of the Operations II of the EU Delegation. The event was attended by more than sixty participants from various important institutions, such as: representatives of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, NQF experts, members of the Council for Vocational Education and Adult Education, representatives of the Institute for Improvement of Education, representatives of employers and trade unions, National Employment Service, representatives of chambers of commerce and other international organisations.

The seminar raised awareness and commitment among policy makers and social partners about the NQF, as part of a modern qualification system in Serbia.

ETF regional manager for Serbia, Mr Shawn Mendes, expressed readiness of the ETF to support the Ministry in the coming period for the establishment and implementation of the NQF in Serbia, with the aim of connecting Serbia with other countries which are already applying their national framework of qualifications, thus including our country in the European Qualifications System.

Mr Steffen Hudolin expressed satisfaction about organizing this event in which all stakeholders will jointly determine the future vision of the NQF development in Serbia, in an effort to eliminate the discrepancy between supply and demand on the labour market, i.e. to harmonize the acquired qualification with the strategic priorities of the country.

Ms Mirjam de Jong stressed that the NQFS is an important but not sufficient entrepreneurial path for solving the employability of the population, and that the education reform creating adequate conditions for the implementation of the NQF is of outmost importance.

On behalf of the Ministry prof. Dr Vesna Mandić, Assistant Minister in the Sector for Development and Higher Education, opened and greeted the audience. She expressed gratitude to the European Training Foundation (ETF) for a strategic partnership that contributes to the achievement of functional conditions for the development of the National Qualifications Framework in Serbia. Bearing in mind such efforts, as well as the transparency and co-operation of Serbia for every innovation, the Ministry has welcomed the cooperation with the ETF, with the desire to modernise and improve the qualifications in Serbia and improve the employability. Additionally, in accordance with the Education Development Strategy in Serbia until 2020, the future concept of education as a national priority envisages a system of qualifications that will be market-oriented and relevant.In the introductory part of the conference, prof. dr Vesna Mandić, through a very informative and well received presentation about NQF in Serbia, stressed the importance of establishing a single – integrated qualifications framework, which will cover all levels and types of qualifications. Ms Mandić also underlined:

“The national qualifications framework is important not only for us in the education system, but also for the employers and the labour market, which will certainly have significant effects for faster and better employability and the development of the Republic of Serbia as a whole. Therefore, we want to implement the NQF together in all areas of work and, as social partners, to contribute to the implementation of the Economic Reform Program 2017-2019. with the development of sector profiles and the management of Sector Skills Councils, linking the NQF with the EQF, preparing the NQF Law, and resolving and regulating the employment policy, especially for young people. We expect this cooperation to be partner, successful and transparent, which will enable Serbia to become an equal member of the European society in the field of qualification development.
The number of experts for the NQF development were so far engaged in Serbia, especially with the support of the projects: IPA 07 – modernization of the vocational education system in Serbia, IPA 08 – support for quality assurance within the national system for assessment of the basic and secondary education and IPA 12 – capacity building of the VET system for quality improvement.
Having in mind the high percentage of unemployment in Serbia, the discrepancy between supply and demand, dysfunctional qualifications and occupations, it is necessary to establish a national system of qualifications that will contribute to the economic strengthening of the state and contribute to the reduction of unemployment.As an example of empowering of social partnerships, the Inter-Institutional Working Group (IIWG) will be formed as a body which will include, besides the Ministry, 21 institutions, contributing to the development and improvement of qualifications and their linking with the labour market and employers…”

During the second part of the event, the participants were divided and workshops were organised in 4 working groups:

– Workshop “Legislation”

– Workshop “Stakeholders

– Workshop “Institutions” and

– Workshop “Quality Assurance”.

The participants of the workshops analysed the achievements in the indicated areas and segments, defining the priorities and future actions for each area. The workshops were followed by the plenary, summarising conclusions of each group.

The overall conclusion of the seminar was the readiness of all institutional stakeholders to contribute to the improvement of qualifications and thusly involving themselves in the implementation and the development of the NQF. The strengthened social partnership of the competent institutions will contribute to the improvement of the development of the labour market and the whole society, which will enable the Republic of Serbia to become an equal member of the European society in this field.

Accordingly, the priorities and stakeholders included in the Action Plan are identified, and the Ministry will, through the work of the IIWG, achieve social dialogue with the relevant entities, establishing institutional and legal framework as a foundation for the functional and successful establishment of the NQF.

In order to establish internal and external transparency and information, the NQFS website (bilingual: Serbian – Cyrillic, Latin and English) was created, so that all relevant institutions and entities will be provided with information related to the establishment and functioning of the NQF in Serbia at the state and international level.