Prospects for young, unemployed adults in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Group careers advice for young, unemployed women in Bosnia and Herzegovina. © SDC

The aim of the Youth Employment Project (YEP) is to help public employment bodies in Bosnia and Herzegovina to improve their offer and to introduce youth-friendly services, such as individual and group careers advice for unemployed young adults between 18 and 30 years. Together with local partners, YEP also promotes new job opportunities linked to social entrepreneurship models.

RegionCountry Topic Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Employment & economic development
Vocational training
Employment creation
Business support & economic inclusion
Vocational training
01.04.2016 - 31.03.2020
CHF 4'800'000

Unemployment is a major problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with young people particularly affected. About 62% of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are out of work. On the one hand, there is a lack of jobs available, and on the other hand, the efforts by the government to respond to the high rate of unemployment are inadequate. The longer these young people are excluded from the labour market, the more hopeless they feel and the more they lose confidence in those institutions that should be supporting them. 

Creating career prospects for young people

The SDC is therefore supporting the Youth Employment Project (YEP), which aims to provide better prospects for young unemployed people. The project promotes state-run advisory services by introducing new working methods and supporting young people in their search for employment. At the same time, it uses social entrepreneurship to motivate the unemployed and support them in becoming self-reliant and able to create jobs for themselves. The aim is to capitalise on existing potential for sustainable business models. In addition, a network of 25 'job clubs' has been created, which, together with the public careers advice services, give young people the opportunity to improve their professional skills. It is important in this project that young people from socially disadvantaged groups are also given the opportunity to benefit from these new services. 

By January 2017, 6,240 young unemployed adults had benefited from the support of the various job clubs. Since then, 2,665 of them have found employment. A further 7,511 new unemployed persons have received their first individual careers advice. 

The SDC is supporting this project because access to the labour market is essential for young people, enabling them to regain better prospects for their lives and thereby continue to support the economy.