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Analysis of the labour market and secondary vocational schools in the Bijeljina region

Administration of the City of Bijeljina conducted a survey on the needs of the enterprises regarding shortage occupations and available capacities of educational institutions in order to satisfy the needs of the labour market in the City of Bijeljina and municipalities of Lopare and Ugljevik. The survey was conducted for the needs of the COTON project, implemented as part of the Opportunity Plus programme, supported by the Swiss government, and implemented by Development Agency of Republika Srpska (RARS). The survey was conducted during November and December 2015, and the first half of January 2016. Interviewers (Section for Local Economic Development and European Integration) visited enterprises and filled the questionnaire with the representatives of the enterprises in order to collect realistic and correct data. Enterprises were interested to take part in the project in this way and contribute to solving a serious problem in the Bijeljina region, which is the mismatch of the needs of the economy with the existing occupations in secondary vocational schools. As for the improvement of the education system according to the needs of the economy and society, almost nothing is changing for the better. There are an increasing number of those who are unable to get a job in their field and at their education level, or are unable to get any job, which is especially true for highly educated people. On the other hand, the economy lacks certain manufacture profiles, so the economy is forced to get them through various retraining, additional training, import of workers and the like, which is an additional financial burden. There is a significant gap between education and the labour market. This decreases the value of human capital, which in turn slows economic development. All this creates a need to conduct new research which will lead to more complete harmonisation of education and labour market. There is a need to identify the basic forces under whose influence these harmonisations are relatively successful.
 
Society, with its enrolment policy, and in accordance with its strategic development commitments, decisively influences the structure of work force offer in the market. Education manages to satisfy the long term needs of the economy and society for human resources. The match between supply and demand for occupations and educational levels is really high. For now the education fails to adapt to short term, and especially long term needs of the labour market. It is mostly done through forming temporary educational programmes and necessary additional training and retraining.
In addition to long term development commitments, the labour market indicators are important in developing concept of education. In accordance with these positive experiences of developed countries it is natural that it should be the basis of such research. It is necessary to achieve a critical analysis of previous experience and consider own circumstances to reach a proposal for harmonisation of education and labour market in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also on the local level. Following the example of developed countries, the focus of research would be on the institutional basis of education, which would be able to best meet the needs of the labour market. This institutional basis should be able to satisfy long term needs for work force, and also to successfully react to short term challenges of the labour market. The reasons for focusing on social influences, with the market as a corrective factor, stem from the very inner essence of education and its relationship to the labour market.
 
Education system is the most important element of life and development infrastructure of each individual, society and country, because its total effect determines the scope, quality and effects of building and utilisation of all other systems and resources, as well as the total quality of life and developmental potentials of individuals and community. Thus, the education system should be developed so that its role is achieved in a timely manner, with high quality and efficiently.
 
The task of the education system is to educate people in a timely manner, with high quality and efficiently in accordance with the developmental commitments towards sustainability, and to respond to the educational needs of the people during their whole lives. Accordingly, the education system takes a role of the key development factor, because a population with quality education is the right resource for proper use of natural and other inherited resources.
 
It is obvious that there are many problems in today's education system, and they require action to eliminate or improve them, while taking care to efficiently respond to the needs of economy and to quickly respond to new needs and demands of the labour market. In that sense, the tasks of improving the quality of education by increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the education system become a priority.
 
The project COTON - Contributing to increased functionality and employability in Republika Srpska and Una-Sana Canton is about improving the quality of education and efficiency of the work force through initial interventions in the region included in the project. Accordingly, it is necessary to obtain detailed information about capacities in secondary technical and other schools with which cooperation will be made and about their mismatch with the needs of the local labor market.