Scholarships for students educated in secondary schools for deficit occupations and support to private sector
Pursuant to the Operational Programme “Effective human resources 2014 – 2020” (Priority axis 1 “High employability and mobility of the workforce) two phases of the measure (operation) “Encouraging education for related trades based on the apprenticeship system” were implemented.
Based on the mentioned Operation in the period from 2016-2021 years, over HRK 305 million was spent (85% of the funds were allocated from the European Social Fund, and 15% of the funds were co-financed from the national budget) on:
- scholarships for deficit occupations aimed for scholars who are educated in secondary schools from the system of trades that are carried out according to the Unified Model of Education (JMO) and for
- support to private companies which accept scholars for apprenticeships.
More than 15,500 scholarships were awarded to students in the amount of HRK 218.4 million, as well as 1,316 grants to entrepreneurs and craftsmen for apprenticeships in the total amount of HRK 87.1 million.
By awarding scholarships to students who are educated in deficient trade occupations, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development Croatia contributes to solving the problem of insufficient interest of scholars in deficient occupations, as well as to alignment with the needs of the labour market. Scholarships were aimed at education for professions that were assessed to be in short supply in certain years, and based on recommendations for educational enrolment policy and scholarship policy, with special emphasis on students in poorer financial status, special family circumstances or other aggravating circumstances. Namely, in the Republic of Croatia, three-year vocational education is often the last choice of scholars, and the mentioned programmes are mostly enrolled by scholars who had no other choice. The aforementioned educational programmes serve to acquire basic professional skills for occupations and are aimed exclusively at the labour market and qualified performance of activities after education by obtaining a professional qualification, and not at continuing education.
- The tentative list of professions includes the following: auto electrician, auto painter, auto tinsmith, auto mechanic, auto mechatronics technician, locksmith, chimney sweep, electrician, electrical mechanic, facade worker, heating installer and air conditioning/heating and air conditioning installer, home plumbing installer, stonemason, waiter/waitress, tailor, roofer, cook, tinsmith, butcher, shoemaker, baker/ baker, gas fitter, pastry chef, painter, carpenter, mechanic, carpenter, turner, plumber, mason
The second part of the measures is intended for support to private sector companies for accepting scholars for apprenticeships in order to ensure the acquisition of key skills and competencies directly in the economy, as well as well-educated personnel who can encourage employment and self-employment in the trades.
Scholars are encouraged with scholarships to enroll in professional occupations needed by the economy trends and market, and business entities are granted support for students on apprenticeships. In addition to the co-financing of the award to the scholar based on the apprenticeship contract, support is also granted in the form of compensation to the mentor for his work.
Through the multi-year financial framework for the period 2021-2027 the continuation of scholarship activities is not planned (a continuation of scholarship funded from the budget is planned on a smaller scale), however, through the ESF+ it is planned to continue the activities of encouraging apprenticeships through the awarding of non-reimbursed grants to business entities that accept scholars for apprenticeships, then grants for the training of business mentors who carry out learning based on work as well as the training of vocational teachers in the economy and the creation of new curricula for occupations from the system of related trades.
On our website under public calls (https://mingor.gov.hr/javni-pozivi-i-natjecaji-7371/javni-pozivi-i-natjecaji-ministarstva/zatvoreni-javni-pozivi-i-natjecaji/7392) invitations are available for students and for entrepreneurs (it was roughly announced once a year) in which there are more details.