Centre for Civic Education (CCE) organized, from 20 to 22 December 2023, in Podgorica, the first module within the capacity building programme for young people in improving their soft skills or communication skills. This programme is part of the YouthJobLink project – linking youth and social enterprises, implemented by the CCE with the support of the European Union through the Directorate for Finance and Contracting of EU Assistance Funds (CFCU) of the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Montenegro. The goal is to enhance the competitiveness of young people in the labour market and improve their employability. The programme includes three modules, followed by the employment of ten selected young people for six months.
Every fifth young person in Montenegro is unemployed, and, on the other hand, employers require a certain amount of work experience that young people objectively cannot have. Additionally, CCE’s qualitative research indicates that some young people have unrealistic expectations, wanting high positions and good salaries immediately after completing their studies, and they are not inclined to gain experience through volunteering. Participants in the YouthJobLink programe represent positive exceptions and are working on their professional development.
During the first three-day intensive training, forty young people from different parts of Montenegro improved their communication skills, public presentation, public relations, and professional correspondence, as well as writing an impactful CV and preparing for a job interview.
“In the era of society’s digitization and the vast flow of diverse information, it is becoming increasingly challenging for young people to understand the processes of integration into the labor market and to adapt to them,” asseses Ivana Bobičić, director of the Represent Communications agency, who held part of the training. “The opportunity to ask questions that concern them, resolve doubts, better understand processes, and learn how to properly apply for a job and prepare for an interview with an employer is of immeasurable importance for their future career path. I believe that this type of education will significantly ease their efforts in finding themselves and better positioning themselves in the business world,” she emphasized.
Bojana Komnenić, PR manager at the Represent Communications agency, who also conducted training for young people, shares a similar view. “Communication is all around us, and it is essential that young people, at the beginning of their career path, recognize the importance of these skills and use all available knowledge to become even better communicators. Such projects make knowledge more accessible, interesting, and usable in the labour market and during employment. It was a pleasure to share experiences with participants who showed a high level of interaction and a desire to learn something new”, she stated.
“I liked that there was a lot of interactive content and that the lecturers spoke about events and stories from their careers. Communication is crucial for a professional career, and that’s why the training was very beneficial to me. In addition to educational qualifications, it is important for young people to have exceptional communication skills because they complement formal education and other acquired knowledge,” says Ivan Krivokapić, a twenty-three year old from Budva and one of the participants in this programme.
“This module taught me that we don’t have to be perfect, it’s essential to be ourselves and express our authenticity,” shares her experience Vladana Mitrović, a twenty-four year old from Nikšić and also a participant in the programme. “Techniques for effective public speaking and presentation clearly illustrate one way to overcome frightness, by facing it head-on and overcoming it. During this module, we had the opportunity to learn how to uniquely introduce ourselves, based on which we will be noticed,” she concluded.
Željka Ćetković, Active Citizenship Programme Coordinator