Education must follow the needs of the labor market

Ivanka Mihailović

14. October 2015

Education must follow the needs of the labor market

Public hearing “National Qualifications Framework – How to Tie-In Education and Labor Market in Serbia” held in the National Assembly

BELGRADE – Serbia is the only country in Europe without a national qualifications framework (NQF), said today the Minister of Education Srdjan Verbić and announced that the law introducing the NQF in Serbia and a separate register listing all qualifications, with better linking education and the labor market as the stated purpose should be adopted early in 2016.

One qualification should show what certain person knows and can do in real life, and not only what is its educational background.

Opening the public hearing “National Qualifications Framework – How to Tie-In Education and Labor Market in Serbia” Minister Verbić said that by the beginning of next year a special service should be in place, which will help citizens and businesses in finding answers to all questions in connection with the NQF in Serbia and labor market needs.

“We are the only country in Europe that does not have a NQF,” said Verbić, explaining that NQF in Serbia will help “trickling down” the relation (and cooperation) between education and the labor market. He also pointed out that it is important that one qualification must include all what one person has acquired as part of its non-formal education.

NQF in Serbia presents one “homework” that is long overdue, in Minister Verbić’s words.

“We are constantly working on this one homework, which we have failed to submit on time,” he said and added that Serbia does not understand the difference existing between qualifications and professions.

He also said that it is important to lead a broad public debate on NQF in Serbia and to engage all partners in  the society – the Government, employers and trade unions, pointing out not only to unions representing education providers, but all the branches representing different professions.

According to him, the NQF should motivate employers to set specific requirements to the educational system, define what they want, what kind of “product”.

NQF process in Serbia will include a directory of qualifications with descriptions of learning outcomes that will correspond to each level of education, regardless of the manner and scope in which certain qualification was acquired.

See the photo album from today’s public hearing at the BFPE Facebook account.

Text Tanjug news agency, photos copyright BFPE / Aleksandar Anđić 2015.