The “Strong Youth” Centre was officially opened on Thursday, 16 March 2017, at 11 o’clock in Belgrade, with the address Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra number 251. The “Strong Youth” Career Centre was established as part of the “Strong Youth – Sustainable Social Inclusion and Economic Support to Vulnerable Youth” project implemented by SOS Children’s Villages Serbia in partnership with the German Foundation Hermann Gmeiner and other local partners (Employment Council of the City of Belgrade, City Centre for Social Work Belgrade, Centre for Protection of Infants, Children and Youth, the Republic Institute for Social Protection, Centre for Foster Care and Adoption, National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED), Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia – Belgrade, National Employment Service – Belgrade branch, City Centre for Social Entrepreneurship Belgrade), and co-financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The main role of the “Strong Youth” Centre is to support the strengthening of employability of young people and other vulnerable groups living in Belgrade. The focus is on persons under the age of 30 who had, or still has the status a child without parental care, as well as on young people who are involved in support programmes for families at risk implemented by SOS Children’s Villages.
The “Strong Youth” Centre organised various training courses on active job search and strengthening of employability, as well as other training such as language courses, IT courses, and vocational training courses. So far, 30 young people attended the introductory training, five had completed vocational training and gained new professional skills, five are in the process of developing their business ideas and starting their own business, and four participants were employed. The aim is to train and support at least 300 young people by the end of project implementation.
In addition, in cooperation with its partners, SOS Children’s Villages will enable the participants to establish connections with potential employers, provide training on starting an independent business, and mini-grants for those businesses, as well as provide mentorship and support to other institutions and organisations working in the field of youth employment.