We lack 90,000 craftsmen
At the moment, the Serbian market lacks 90,000 craftsmen of all profiles, according to the data of the Chamber of Construction Industry.
It is also devastating that the average age of some of them, such as construction workers, is 55 years of age. The experience of the Construction Trade Union is similar, and its representatives point out that most of the good craftsmen have left the country in search for a better life, and young people’s interest in enrolling in construction and other craft-related schools is very low.
For example, the High School of Civil Engineering in Belgrade enrolled one department of ceramic workers and wall decorators, i.e. wall painters this year, while last year, these two departments had groups of only 15 students each. Only 12 students have enrolled in the joint education profile called “construction works operator”, including builders, carpenters, steel fixers.
The National Employment Service does not have data on the total demand for any profile on the labor market. Pursuant to the amendments to the 2009 Employment and Unemployment Insurance Act, they now only receive and register applications for employment for which an employer has contacted them as a mediation service provider. According to these applications, in August, the professions in the highest demand were utility cleaners, room cleaners, food production handlers, salesmen, welders, locksmiths, construction and medical technicians, while among the professions requiring a university degree, there were civil engineers, economists, kindergarten teachers, mechanical engineers, the National Employment Service says.
On the other hand, some occupations requiring three-year education i.e. crafts are highly sought. Thus, in 2019, the National Employment Service’s branch offices were often contacted by the employers seeking electric welders, locksmiths, drivers, electricians-installers, builders, carpenters, steel fixers, car mechanics, metalworkers, woodwork carpenters, clothes sewing workers, upholsterers, cooks, bakers and butchers. The National Employment Service points out that today it is easier for those who are active and well informed to find a job, regardless of education. The standard job of the service is often replaced by current programs funded from the state budget or the budget of the employment service.